Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lata, 2009! Bring on the new year!



(Oooh, pretty!)

I just have to say: Thank. Goodness. This. Year. Ends. Today.

Next year's got to be better, right? Right!?

Okay, so the year wasn't terrible. I made a firm decision to get my ass in gear regarding my writing, I got married, and I'm ending the year with a plethera of Barnes and Noble gift cards.

Not so bad.

But the year also held a lot of bad news, frustrations, and disappointments. More than any other year in my memory.

So 2010 is a chance for a fresh start. I'm working steadily on my WIP, I've made a ton of friends through blogging, I discovered that people actually like to read what I've written, and I've gained confidence.
All of these awesome things will be carried over into the new year along with my newest resolutions:

1. Finish current WIP.
2. Find a critique group and really get down to the nitty gritty of my work!
3. Query and score myself an awesome agent.
4. Dance on the desks of the people who told me I'd never make it.(Wait, what?? I didn't just say that!)
5. Continue with last year's resolutions(No soda unless there is absolutely nothing else to drink and no french fries! One year tomorrow since I've had a SINGLE fry! Which is huge if you were to look back at my awful diet consisting of, well, fries.)

I guess what I'm striving for most is more dedication to my writing. Having all you blogger friends to answer to makes this a lot easier to do, so thank you for all of your support!
Also, hi to all of my new followers! ::Waves hi:: Thanks for stopping by. :)

I've loved reading everyone's year end recaps and resolutions. I'm inspired by every one of you.

Here's to 2010 and all of our dreams coming true!



By the way...don't forget about this Saturday, which is No Kiss Blogfest Day. Sign up on Frankie's blog to join in, or just to check out all the amazing entries we're sure to have!
I still have to come up with a scene, so I'll be hard at work until then.

Happy Writing!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Twelve Days of...Me! Day Twelve!!!!


On the Twelfth Day of Me, I give to you...final thoughts.

Posting(almost)everyday for two weeks has been so much fun, I'm sad to let it go! I guess I don't have to...it's been good discipline for me which is something I have little of when it comes to my writing schedule. So if I keep this up, maybe it'll flow over into my WIP.

Not to mention how much it helps when we have things going on like the Official Kissing Day Blogfest or the No Kiss Blogfest which help keep me focused. And they're so much fun! If you haven't already, head on over to Frankie's blog(linked above)and sign yourself up! Hmmm...I suppose I need to do that myself.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I was extremely blessed this year and in front of the difficulties my family and friends are facing were happy tears shared by all.
Happy tears are the greatest kind.

PLUS! I got sooo many B&N gift cards and I can't WAIT to start shopping! :) I think I'll have to pace myself so I can afford to buy all the exciting new books by new authors coming out in 2010.

Something else that I feel blessed with this Christmas: ideas! For some reason over the past couple of days, ideas for new stories have been leaking out my ears for lack of space in my brain. There's just that many. And I'm very excited about them, even though I really can't do much with them besides jot them down and keep them very, very close to me.
Maybe it's all the action of the holidays, maybe it's coming together with friends and family...who knows? I'm just thankful that they're there.

For now, I'm going to go relax with a cup of tea and perhaps some french toast and mull over these new ideas(and then maybe get to work on the current WIP)for the rest of the weekend.

How was everyone else's Christmas? Any exciting stories to share, moments of laughter or tears?

Happy Day After Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Twelve Days of...Me! Day Eleven



On the Eleventh Day of Me, I give to you...a holiday greeting.

I'm off for the start of the Christmas celebration and probably won't be around until Saturday.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Twelve Days of....Me! Day Ten



On the Tenth Day of Me, I give to you....my dumbass.

Seriously.

It is two days before Christmas. An ice storm is coming TONIGHT. Like, right after I get out of work.
And I? Am headed to the mall. Yes, that insufferable place full of pushy, whiny, greedy, rude, smelly things that resemble humans but I'm pretty sure are actually baboons let loose.

Why, you ask, am I going to venture into the mall on such a day? Because, I answer, I am a dumbass who decided not to go Christmas gift shopping until rightthisverysecond.
To be perfectly honest, I tried boycotting the whole gift giving aspect of Christmas for various reasons, and I suppose I've just been in angry denial over the whole thing.

This denial also appeared in my lack of baked goods which I'm usually drowning in at this time of year. And lack of decorations, considering I gave up after being attacked by my tree while stringing the lights.(I have the scars to prove it!)

Perhaps this trip to the mall wouldn't be so bad if I had a list and a plan. I have neither.
So I'll be wandering aimlessly, dodging the baboons while they run to pick the fleas off the other baboons...I know, I know. I'm a total Scrooge.

But the good news of the day is that one of my managers gave me a hundred bucks as a gift and my husband told me I should use the money to buy BOOKS!!!! I knew I loved him for a reason! :)

I have two days left in my twelve days of me, and even though people have much better things to do besides read about, well, me, I'm going to try to post anyway.
So I'll be around if you want to stop by!

For those of you who won't be back until after the holiday, Merry Christmas!
I'll see you soon.

Anyone else out there a slacker like me?? ::Sigh::

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Twelve Days of...Me! Day Nine

Since yesterday was the awesomest day in the history of the world and completely devoted to all things kissing, I missed my day eight of my twelve day blogging promise.
But since my kissing scene is the very first piece of writing ever to leave the comfort of my own hands, I'd say that's a pretty big day of "me" and worthy of holding the eighth day spot.
So yesterday was the implied day eight.
Moving on.

On the Ninth Day of Me, I give to you...2 awards!

Recently, I have been given two awards from two very talented writers.



The Honest Scrap Award came from Julie Dao(thank you, Julie!)at Silver Lining and now I must reveal ten honest things about myself. This could take awhile...

1. I absolutely refuse to eat food/drink milk that is one day past the 'sell by' date. Not the expiration, the SELL BY. Because it still grosses me out. Too bad.

2. I hate stuffed animals. Not because they're not cute, but because when it's time to give them away because I have too many, I cry. And not just cry. Sob. Because I'm afraid I'm hurting their feelings.

3. It is three days before Christmas and I have barely begun shopping. Or baking.

4. I can't clean my house unless I'm singing and dancing to my favorite songs. This is also why I can only clean when my husband isn't home because he'll make fun of me.

5. Which brings me to...when I was in fifth grade, I was picked by my music teacher to record a Christmas album with some of my classmates. I got to go to a real recording studio in Chicago and I still have the album.

6. If I fail as a writer, I would like to be a Life-Planner. I'm excellent at making decisions for people and there's millions of times when I have to bite my tongue to keep from saying 'I told you so'. People should always just listen to me!(This is just a joke. I don't actually want to plan someone's life...I'd just be good at it.)

7. My favorite color is purple and I wish I could paint every room in my house a different shade of it.

8. Sometimes the things in life that inspire me the most are the people who have let me down.

9. I hate magazines because there's never enough to read.

10. I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL CHRISTMAS IS OVER!

Whew! It's hard to come up with this stuff at the drop of a hat!

So, I know I'm supposed to pass this on to a bunch of people, but I decided to pick just one person to receive each award. I always try to pick someone who doesn't already have the award, and this person does not as of yet:

Melissa at Chasing the Dream. I love her blog because I feel like I can relate to her a lot. She always has something interesting to say and I look forward to new posts from her!

If you're not following her already, click away!



The Lovely Blog Award was given to me by Natalie Bahm. Thank you, Natalie!

The person I want to pass this on to never ceases to inspire me. Her posts are always beautifully written and I've been known to shed a few tears when I read them. Check out Victoria's blog and be amazed and astounded by her insight on everything from writing to the simple things that are guaranteed to make you think.

Thanks again for the awards, ladies!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Official Kissing Day Blogfest!!



This is a blissful day, I've gotta say. Thank goodness Sherrinda did this! Check out her blog to find the links to everyone participating!

I wasn't up to the kissing scene in my WIP yet, so I had to jump ahead. I guarantee it won't stay the same and it's REALLY rough right now since I wrote it last night, but I couldn't resist!

Quick background: Josh has just shown up at Evie's house after the Homecoming Dance. He has come over to tell her that he has feelings for her, even though he's been dating her best friend.

*************************************************************************************

There he stood, the streetlight illuminating him from behind, giving him a very godlike effect. His smile was gone, replaced by a serious expression.

“Come for a ride?” he said in greeting.

Evie nodded, not knowing how else to respond.

Josh waited while she locked the door and then walked beside her down the front walk to his truck. He opened the passenger door, waited while she climbed in, then shut the door gently behind her.

As he made his way around the truck, Evie breathed in the scent of him: musky cologne she’d noticed on him before, sweat and dirt from football practice, the cranberry air freshener hanging from the rearview mirror. She’d been in the truck before, but tonight she felt much more aware of him.

A mixed CD sat half inside the CD player, and she wondered if he’d been listening to it with Maddie. Specks of glitter sparkled on the dashboard, an obvious sign her friend had been here. Without thinking, Evie brushed the tiny pieces to the floor, not wanting it to intrude on her moment.

Not that she knew what her moment would entail.

Josh slid in beside her, his jaw set. Was he angry? He hadn’t seemed upset when she saw him from her window. Nervous, maybe.

She didn’t say anything as he turned the engine over and buckled his seatbelt.

“Ready?” he asked in a low voice, glancing at her. His brow furrowed for a quick second, then softened as he flashed her his familiar smile.

Evie nodded, fastening her own seatbelt.

Josh put the truck into gear and sped off down the darkened street. Evie watched the houses flash by, a blur of dull color in the night.

“Are you okay?” Evie finally asked, breaking the silence.

Josh didn’t respond right away, his hands gripping the steering wheel so hard his knuckles were white.

He couldn’t explain things to her just yet. He still had no idea how to tell her the crazy things that had been running through his mind since he pulled up in front of Maddie’s house at six that night. How could he tell Evie that he thought he was falling in love with her?

They were only seventeen, and as much as he hated to admit it, he hadn’t exactly been honest with her since they’d become friends.

Besides, what made him think she’d have any interest in him beyond friendship anyway? She’d never acted interested in him before. Except for that time at Last Dance when he’d caught her staring at him. And the ride on the ferris wheel. And during lunch a few times.

Okay. So maybe there was a chance she could be interested in him.

He realized he’d been quiet for a long time, so he said, “I’m fine,” before she thought he was mad at her.

Evie leaned back in her seat and sucked in her breath. She had no idea where they were going, but she was kind of nervous to ask. So she just watched the world go by.
A few minutes later, Josh pulled into a park on the opposite side of the river. He drove over to Lookout Point, an area tourists went to view the whole river and the lit up village.

Evie was confused. This part of the park was closed at this time of night. Why were they here?

Josh glanced at her as he cut the engine and got out of the truck.

Evie followed him, her nerves creating a tight ball in the middle of her stomach like she’d eaten too much greasy food. She met him at the tailgate and he lowered it.

“Beer?” he asked, jumping into the bed where a blue cooler sat half hidden under a dirty brown tarp. He pushed the tarp aside and opened the lid, pulling two cans of beer from the ice. “I have a couple fruity drinks in here, in case you wanted that.”

In case she wanted that? Evie wondered if he’d planned this.

“Beer is fine,” she said, even though the thought of beer instantly brought back horrible memories of her sister’s birthday party. She reached out to take the can he held out to her.

Josh sat down on the tailgate, letting his feet dangle.

Evie rested against the truck, popping the top on her beer and trying to find the best possible way to drink it without slurping like a guy. Should she sit next to him?

Josh took a gulp of his drink and set it down beside him. He watched Evie sip hers and worried he might be scaring her with all of this mystery.

“We’re friends, right?” he blurted.

Evie jumped in surprise, then felt her stomach drop. Friends? Great. Just what every girl wanted to hear from the guy they had a massive crush on.

“Yeah, of course,” she replied. She shuffled her feet in the dirt and crossed her arms, holding her beer at her side. Friends. So it wouldn’t seem obvious if she sat next to him. She jumped on the tailgate and turned to smile at him. She hoped it seemed genuine.

Josh nodded. He stretched his arms, then slid out of his jacket. He’d grown a little warmer after she joined him up here. He looked over at her as he set the jacket behind them. Her long blonde hair fell down her back in perfect ringlets, a small glittery barrette holding half of it up. He realized she’d had it done for the dance she’d never gone to. Her fingernails were painted a soft pink with white tips.

She smelled amazing, like a field of daisies or something. He breathed in deep, closing his eyes to her scent.

How could anyone stand her up? He recalled how angry he’d been when her date showed up at the dance with a different girl on his arm. His friends laughing about stupid little Evie sitting at home waiting for him to pick her up. He’d had to fight to keep himself from punching the stupid prick right in the mouth.

Speaking of mouths…

“You look really nice tonight,” Evie said, her face flushed. From the beer or the compliment, he couldn’t tell.

“Thanks.” Josh nudged her arm. “You probably looked pretty amazing yourself.”

Evie snorted. “Right.” She lowered her eyes, fiddled with the tab on her beer can. “I suppose I deserved what I got.”

“What? Why would you say that?”

She shrugged. “I only accepted his invitation because I wanted to go. And since no one else had asked me…”

She trailed off, leaving Josh feeling guilty about never asking her himself. What was he supposed to do? Maddie had already asked him, and he knew that it would have caused problems if he’d turned her down and asked Evie instead.

Evie slid off the tailgate and carried her beer over to the railing overlooking the river. She rested her arms against it, relishing the feel of the warm breeze across her heated skin. She had almost said, ‘since you never asked me’ but couldn’t bring herself to do it.

Josh came up beside her, his mouth set in a frown. He’d rolled up his sleeves, his black rubber bracelet in its usual place on his left wrist. “Something happened tonight,” he said, his eyes focused on a few ducks swimming past. One of them quacked and disappeared under the water.

Evie raised her eyebrows. “Something like what?”

He paused, not knowing where to start. He cleared his throat.

“Josh.”

He turned to face her but was unable to meet her eyes. Instead, he watched her mouth, that perfect pout begging to be kissed. She was wearing gloss, and he wanted to know what it tasted like. Would it be fruity? Or minty?

Okay. He had to stop staring there. He raised his eyes to meet hers, startled by how bright the blue of them appeared in the near total darkness.

“It happened while I was dancing with…well.” More throat clearing. “I never should have gone with Maddie,” he clarified, raking a hand through his hair.

“Why not? You make a good couple.”

Josh opened his mouth to say something, then closed it. She thought they made a good couple? Maybe this confession was a bad idea. Maybe he should have just gone to Hannah’s party with Maddie and forced himself to forget about Evie.

But then Evie sighed, such a small, defeated sound, and she averted her gaze. She didn’t mean that. He knew she didn’t mean that.

“The thing is,” Josh continued, “while I was dancing with Maddie, the only thing I could think about was how I should have been dancing with you.”

Evie’s eyes widened and she looked back up at him. He wanted to be dancing with her. Josh wanted her. He said it. It wasn’t just her imagination!

“I just-” Josh set his can on the railing and stepped up to her. He took her can and set it beside his. Another step closer and he could feel her breath warm against his face. Her pale blue eyes were hopeful, giving him the push he needed to do this. He lowered his head and cupped her face in his hands. “I just wanted to be with you.”

His lips met hers before he closed his eyes. She tasted like strawberries, her lips soft and warm. Suddenly, everything seemed clear. This was where he was supposed to be. Not with Maddie, not at some stupid school dance. Right here, with the most perfect girl in the world.

Evie placed her hands on Josh’s back, feeling his muscles through the soft material of his dress shirt. She spread her fingers out and pulled him closer, raising up on her tiptoes to kiss him deeper. This was even better than she’d imagined. She’d never been kissed so tenderly, so thorough. Like she was the only person who existed.

Who knew? Maybe they were the only people who existed right now.

Josh smiled as he kissed her, elated that this was happening. How had he gone for so long without this? He’d known her for years, had always had that secret crush on her, the one no one knew about. He’d been missing out on this. He ran his fingers through her soft hair, opened his eyes to see her, to see how lucky he was to be in this moment.

They didn’t notice the headlights. Didn’t hear the engine rumbling behind them.

It wasn’t until they heard, “Josh?” that they realized they weren’t alone anymore. Someone else did, in fact, exist right now.

*************************************************************************************

Dum, dum, dummmm....

Geez, sorry this was so long! I couldn't figure out where to start it. I hope you enjoy it!
I'm loving everyone's kissing scenes! We should do this more often. :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Twelve Days of...Me! Day Seven


I skipped a day!!! I apologize. Yesterday was a very busy day and I only had about two minutes of computer time. So I'm a day behind. Eh. For anyone wondering(and I know it's been killing you to hear back from me), my work party Friday night was a huge success! The turnout was amazing and even surprising! Everyone thanked me for putting it together, including spouses whom I'd never met before. It made me very happy that I had done it. Our employees deserve some kind of recognition, even if it is just a get together at a bar, thrown by a fellow employee who can't afford to pay for it herself. And no one questioned who was paying. Relief! Also? I didn't have to pay for a single drink(or my dinner)myself. Score!


Quick reminder: Tomorrow is Official Kissing Day, where you post a kissing scene from your WIP, or just a fave from a book. I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet because I haven't made it to my kissing scene in my own WIP. Maybe I'll just skip ahead to that moment since it's already in my head anyway.

If you want to join in, head over to Sherrinda's blog to include a link to your blog and see everyone else who is joining in.

Now. I had my post idea in mind for yesterday, just didn't have the time to do it. So here goes.

On the Seventh Day of Me, I give to you...my support.

My best friend and I get our hair done together every six to eight weeks, religiously. It is our guaranteed 'us' time to talk, catch up, and make plans. I look forward to these hair appointments more than anything else now.
Yesterday as we ate lunch after our appointments, she told me that she'd been here, to my blog, to see what it was about.
At first I was just happy to hear it, since no one I 'know' has actually read it. I included a link to it in my email signature a while back but haven't had any feedback.
Later on, as I thought about it, I realized just how much it meant to me that she had clicked that little link to show some support.
Which had me thinking of the people who support me the most, who push me forward, who believe in me, probably more than I believe in myself sometimes.

And I'd like to introduce you to:



Mandy. She has been my best friend for about fourteen years and the one person I know I can count on for anything. She has been my rock, my sister, my shoulder, my ear. She encourages me when I doubt myself. Without her, this journey would be much more difficult.



My mom. (That's her, on the left. Er...in case you couldn't tell?) My mom has been pushing me to pursue my writing career since I was in junior high. If she believed in me when my writing sounded like a cat dying, I can only imagine how much she believes in me now when my writing is, well, not crap.

And also my sister Jacki(on the right)who has been my best friend for a long time. We've been through a lot together and I don't know what I would do without her. She's artistic like I am(but she sketches and can put together some killer flower arrangements)so it's something we share.



My husband, Will. He bought me my laptop a few Christmases ago with a card that encouraged me to follow my dreams. He's also my biggest cheerleader. All of his friends and family know about my writing(whether I like it or not!)and as humiliating as this is for me, I can't thank him enough for it.

And last but certainly not least, all of my followers and fellow bloggers! Without you, I would be wandering aimlessly, believing I was the only person out there struggling with this dream. Your encouragement and words of advice help me more than I can ever begin to describe. Thank you for being here, and for being you!

Having a support system is extremely important. We all need a little ego boost at times.
Have you thanked your supporters lately???

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Twelve Days of...Me! Day Six



On the Fifth Day of Me, I give to you…Five Random Things!!! (Rhymes with Five Golden Rings…Gold Rings??)

Anyway.

To start, I’d like to thank Julie Dao at Silver Lining for my Honest Scrap award! Yay awards!! ::Blows celebratory horn:: I haven’t had a chance to post about this yet, so I’ll try to get that done by the end of this weekend. Picking blogs to award is such a difficult thing for me to do because I love each and every one for different reasons. Which is why it takes me forever and a day to do anything about it!

Second, I read on A Writer Wannabe's blog that Monday, December 21st is Official Kissing Day here in the blogging world. This is thrilling to me because I love kisses! I love reading about them, watching them, and, of course, giving and receiving them myself.

To participate, all you have to do is post a kissing scene or almost kissing scene from your WIP. If you are too shy(which might happen right here on this blog), you can post your favorite kissing scene from a book you’ve read.

This might be the most fantastical day in the history of blogging. For serious.


Third! This has been a very long week and I’m so excited that tonight is my work’s Christmas get-together. I could really use a drink. I planned this night out because my work really can’t afford to throw us a party, so I thought it would be nice to book a room and just invite everyone to come hang out. Nothing exclusive, just a space for us to gather. So I booked a room at one of our local faves, made up a few flyers to hang around the buildings, and began looking forward to a fun night out. I love hanging out with coworkers because they’re so much like family anymore. Any excuse to hang out is welcomed.

Anyway, so this afternoon, I get a call from my friend in a different office who tells me that some of our coworkers are under the impression that tonight is paid for by the company. OH. NO. Nowhere on my flyer does it say this is a company sponsored party. No one was ‘invited’, per se. And who in their right mind would see a flyer on a wall and believe the evening would be paid for? COME ON, PEOPLE!!!
So my relaxing night I’ve been looking forward to has just exploded and is now the cause for some serious stress. This post with no rhyme or reason is the result of that stress. I have lost any train of coherent thought. What’s on your agenda for the weekend? Any Christmas celebrations?

Moving on.



Fourth. I’ve been thinking more and more lately about taking advantage of my Twitter account. I’ve had one for a while but I only follow celebrities and I log on about once a month. But the more I read about fellow bloggers utilizing it, the more I want to be a part of the club! So this weekend I might do just that. Be prepared for some Twitter stalking as I muddle my way through the learning process. I’m kind of nervous! Any Twitter advice for me??

Fifth. It’s one week before Christmas! ONE WEEK!! I have barely begun shopping and I might be screwed. Are you all ready?

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Twelve Days of...Me! Day Five


Today's post was handed to me by Victoria S.
She tagged me to answer some questions about my writing, so...

On the Fifth Day of Me, I give to you...some answers!

1)What's the last thing you wrote? What's the first thing you wrote that you still have?

It’s been a few days since I’ve written anything, but the last thing I wrote was the opening of a new chapter of my current ms, Evie After. The first thing I wrote that I still have? My diary. And…I would have to say the first book of a series I spent a good eight years of my life writing. Anything before that, my mom probably has tucked away!

2) Write poetry?

I used to. I used to write it constantly. But somehow I lost my passion for it and now it just collects dust in an old binder on my bookshelf.

3) Angsty poetry?

I’m going to reveal something humiliating about myself. Here goes. ::Deep breath:: The most angst-filled poem I’ve ever written was about Taylor Hanson. From the band. Hanson. This is not a lie, but in fact a ridiculous truth. It was about four pages long and it rhymed and I read it out loud to my mother with tears in my eyes while hers glazed over. I’m pretty sure she had an anxiety attack waiting for me to finish the awful thing.

4) Favorite genre of writing?

I love getting lost in other worlds in fantasy/paranormal fiction, but I don’t think I have the mental capacity to create my own. I recently discovered YA fiction and I’ve been inhaling books as fast as I can to get my fix. I’ve never felt such a strong pull to books before YA, so I’m pretty sure it’s my calling.

5) Most annoying character you've ever created?

I wrote this chick who had the most amazing fiancĂ© in the history of the world and I made her cheat on him. If that weren’t bad enough, she turned into this weepy paranoid person who couldn’t make a decision to save her life and annoyed the crap out of her two best friends. Story filed away!

6) Best plot you've ever created?

I would love to say the one I’m working on, but I have a new idea forming in my head and I’m loving it! One at a time, Julie, one at a time! I do love the story I’m working on now, though.

7) Coolest plot twist you've ever created?

The one I’m working on right now! I was surprised by it myself. No spilling the details on that just yet.

8) How often do you get writer's block?

Writer’s block and I are totally BFF. It happens all the time, especially lately. I’m not sure why because my ms is always on my mind and there’s no problem with flow up there, but when it comes to putting the words on the screen, I’m stumped. How is that???

9) Write fan fiction?

Not even once. I did, however, find inspiration in the Sweet Valley series and I developed my own series about twins(which turned into quintuplets along the way)because they fascinate me.

10) Do you type or write by hand?

Type! Before I had a computer(which wasn’t until my freshman year of COLLEGE)I wrote everything longhand or on my typewriter. I have notebooks upon notebooks of writing.

11) Do you save everything you write?

Thanks to my stepdad, I do. When I started packing to move out of my parent’s house, I tossed all my old stuff rather than cart it around with me. He told me I would regret it if I did that, and I thank him every day because he’s right.

12) Do you ever go back to an idea after you've abandoned it?


Sure. Sometimes the stuff I thought was crap at the time turns out to be better than my new stuff. I guess I just need to put things away for a while and come back with a fresh eye.

13) What's your favorite thing you've ever written?

I have this story about four girlfriends who all have these deep dark secrets that they keep from everyone, including each other, until a vacation together reveals everything. I loved creating the characters and helping them deal with their inner turmoil. This is one of those stories I plan to go back to. Maybe.

14) What's everyone else's favorite story you've written?

Honestly? No one has ever read my stories. I’m pretty sure my mom has peeked when I wasn’t around, but I’m pretty tight-lipped about my writing. It’s a part of the fear. I did write a poem once that I let my family read. It made everyone cry, so I guess it was good.

15) Ever written romance or angsty teen drama?

LOVE romance and angsty teen drama. To me, a book is not worth reading without these! Well, most of the time.

16) What's your favorite setting for your characters?

I like small towns where everyone knows everyone. Cities terrify me, so I wouldn’t even know where to begin with that. My current ms setting is inspired by a town near me on the river, but I’m adding my own elements.

17) How many writing projects are you working on right now?

My novel, Evie After, and planning to start jotting down ideas for the next one that’s been floating around in my head.

18) Have you ever won an award for your writing?
I have never won an award, but I was used as an example of what you’re SUPPOSED to do on a weekly basis in my Creative Writing class. My professor was a published author and each week we had to turn in a new chapter. Although I was embarrassed that he kept shouting my name and random pieces of my ms to the class, I was thrilled that he thought I was that good.

19) What are your five favorite words?

Dream, Believe, Hope, Inspire, Shine. Kind of cliché, I know, but they inspire me.

20) What character have you created that is most like yourself?

In that series I mentioned earlier? I created this character named Julie(wow! Surprise!)who was me to a T. And she had a boyfriend named Tony(because I had a monster crush on a guy named Anthony). I basically created these characters to write out my fantasies…

21) Where do you get your ideas for your characters?

Everywhere! People I know, people I read about, even things that don’t make sense, like when it snows. Usually I come up with an idea and the characters barge in whenever they feel like it and I have a story.

22) Do you ever write based on your dreams?

I’ve had some amazing dreams but I never wrote them down. Yes, I even had a fantasy novel play out in my dream, but when I woke up, I could only remember it for a minute. And then it was gone. ::Sigh::

23) Do you favor happy endings?

I favor uplifting endings which is different than happy ones, I think. I don’t like to give my characters everything they want, but I don’t want them to end up in an institution when they get older either.

24) Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Oh my gosh, yes! At least with spelling. I am a stickler for proper spelling and I get all crazy-eyed when anything is wrong. I’m not perfect by any means, but I try to spell correctly.

25) Does music help you write?


Music inspires me to write, but I can’t listen to it while I’m writing. It’s too distracting. I listen to the words rather than the melody and I lose my focus. But I create playlists and when I’m writing a certain scene, I’ll play the songs that go with it to help me along.

26) Quote something you've written. Whatever pops in your head.

"“I know that if I stay here, nothing will get better.”

And so he would go away.
There was nowhere else in the whole world that would help him escape his memories. Nothing that wouldn’t remind him of my mom in one way or another. The only way he could start over, begin a whole new life...was to end his first."

Just a note: This quote came from a story I had been writing that was very personal to me. I chose this quote because it actually helped me move on in my own life. And then had to put it away because it got waaaaay too deep for me and I spent more time crying than writing. Maybe another time??

And that was an inside look at me.

Now I have to pass this on to five other bloggers. Forgive me if you've already been tagged to do this; I tried glancing through each blog to make sure, but when my eyes started to swim, I had to stop!

If you're not following these already, be sure to click that button! They are always awesome reads.

1. Anissa at Anissa Off the Record
2. Sara Tribble at I Am Write
3. Karen Denise at I'm Always Write
4. Jemi Fraser at Just Jemi
5. Heather at See Heather Write

There you go! Thanks again, Victoria, for tagging me! I had fun.

For the ladies I tagged, if you see this before I have a chance to tell you, I'm sorry! I can't leave you a comment at work, so it has to wait until tonight.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Twelve Days of...Me! Day Four


I don't have much time to write here today because I'm going to a Tupperware party at a friend's house right after work and probably won't be home until late.
But it's day four and I'm still blogging strong, just like I promised!

On the Fourth Day of Me, I give to you...the Little Green Monster.

I write YA. Romantic, contemporary, real life YA.

But I have a secret:
I would love to be able to write Paranormal/Fantasy YA. These books fascinate me, and when I read blogs of paranormal YA authors, I am quickly taken by the little green monster we like to call ENVY.
The imagination required to write these elaborate stories, to make up whole worlds with a completely different vocabulary, different morals, different everything, simply amazes me. I have a wild imagination, without a doubt, but I can't seem to come up with ideas outside the real world box.

J.K. Rowling alone blows me away. The spells, the potions, the creatures, the backstory of all of the quirky characters...who has this brain power to begin with? And why can't they share some with me???
How come when my MC goes to school, she wears jeans and a t-shirt and sits through boring classes like Chemistry? Why can't she go to Herbology while floating in House Robes instead?

Because it's just not in me.

Is it?

If it is, I wouldn't even know where to begin. And besides, I love the stories I create, even if they do take place in the real world.
This little green monster on my shoulder likes to torment me, though. He's always questioning why I don't put in a little more effort to come up with an alternate universe, a new creature to make women of every age swoon and line up outside theaters to drool over.
I hate that little guy.

I have so much admiration for people who can create those worlds, the intricate details that go along with those worlds, and the characters that would only fit in in those worlds. I wonder how they do it. I'd like to open their heads and root around in their brains for the answers to my questions.

But for now, I'll stick to writing about the girl/boy next door and their struggles with the real world. And that little green monster on my shoulder? He gets squashed by my bra strap.

Do any of you have a genre you'd love to write in, but just can't seem to do it for one reason or another? How do you squash your little green monster?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Twelve Days of...Me! Day Three

Can you believe this?? Three days in a row and a blogging record for me!

After a stressful work day and a heap of bad news, I thought about scrapping day three. But I'm determined to keep my promise of twelve days in a row, so here I am.

On the Third Day of Me, I give to you...my writing fears.



Okay, first of all, I'd just like to say that when I googled the word 'fear', a ton of really creepy pictures popped up. Apparently there's a video game with the same title and a super scary little girl(much like the girl from The Ring)on the cover.
Moving on and far away from that nonsense...

I'm sure everyone attempting to break into this business is scared. Even the people who have already been agented or published. There's always that 'what if' feeling in the back of your mind, a clench in your stomach, a lump in your throat.

I am no different. I know I have a talent, it's something I've done since I learned how to write a complete sentence. Writing is who I am, not just something I do. I need it like I need the air I breathe.
And more than anything, I want to be OUT THERE. You know exactly what I mean: to walk into a Barnes and Noble and see my cover on the New Authors shelves(and even better to be mixed in with all the big names!). To sit behind a table while people line up for my autograph, an opportunity to meet the person who wrote the words that touched them.
It is my dream, my biggest dream.

But what if it doesn't happen? I tell myself that this is foolish, if I think positive and work hard, of course it will happen.
But that stupid thing we call fear just creeps right back up, raising goosebumps across my arms and twisting my stomach into a ball of knots.
Sometimes the fear is so great, I wonder what the hell it is I think I'm doing, trying to break into this business!
But I force myself to take a moment and remember why I'm doing this. Because without it, I would not be who I am.
Even without publishing, I would still be a writer. But it wouldn't be my dream.

I'm a pusher. I push everyone I know(and sometimes even people I don't know!)to follow their dreams. There's enough room in this world for every dream to come true. And what a world it would be if more people went after their dreams!

So I wake up every morning with the fear, and I go to bed every night with it as well. But throughout the day, I know that in facing this fear, my dream will eventually come true and it will all be worth it.
I just keep chugging on, working harder and harder.
I will get there, you'll see.
I know I'm good enough. And you know what? You are, too. We're all in this together, facing the fear as partners, as friends. Fear is really just a molehill on this wonderful journey and if we all hold hands, we'll make it through.

Thanks to all my followers and fellow bloggers for being here for the ride. You give me the courage to continue!

What kinds of fears do you face in your writing? What pushes you over that hill to the other side?

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Twelve Days of...Me! Day Two

On the Second Day of Me, I give to you...my first completed work.



How many of you remember the first story you ever wrote? The first time you wrote The End, the first time you ran out of space in that notebook?
I think the first story I ever wrote was called The Lost Kitten and was about a little girl who fought with her best friend. :)
Hopefully, I know a little better now about titles and storylines and the fact that they should, you know, make sense together!
But the first story I ever completed in written form was the story of my own life. My diary.
Reading it tonight, I found this:

"Just think: when I finally finish my diary, I will have completed my first book. It's a cool thought."(Jan. 12, 1996)

Yeah, that was a while ago! But I didn't even start flipping through my diary until I began writing this post. Kind of neat that I have the same idea regarding my first completed book now as I did way back then.

When you think about it, every story you create is a diary of someone's life. You create their world, their life story. You put it down on paper to relive over and over for years to come.
Let's just hope my diary never gets published! Several posts back, I said that I am boy crazy, but the proof in my diary is just ridiculous. Not to mention humiliating. Door shut and locked.

The great thing about my diary is that it shows me how far I've come in my writing while still proving that I have the same passion for words. Reading through the entries brought me right back to that second of my life, and I can clearly recall things I've long since forgotten. What a treat for a Monday night!
The words I poured into my diary are so important to me. They tell me where I've been and where I hoped to be as an adult. Thank goodness I'm not far off.
It might not be a work of fiction(although my imagination would prove otherwise), but I'm so proud to say that it is my first completed story. I've owned other diaries and journals, but I've never stuck to them the way I did that very first one.

I suppose it was just time to move on to someone else's story.

How do you feel when you think about or read the first story you've ever completed? Do you feel pride in the accomplishment? What did it help you to discover about yourself?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Twelve Days of...Me! Day One

In honor of Christmas and the fact that this year, I am trying to be a lot more selfless I am going to use the next twelve days(yes, I'm going to attempt a post twelve days in a row!)to be selfish and talk about yours truly.




On the first day of Me, I give to you...my inspiration.

I'll start off by saying that this year for Christmas, the only thing I asked for(and the only thing I wanted to buy for my family)was a donation to a charity. A charity of my choice, and nothing more. This did not happen because for some reason, this was considered 'silly' and I am now going to be receiving multiple Barnes and Noble gift cards to help me continue being selfish.
Ahem.
Because of my family's response to what I considered a good gift idea, I have limited my spending on them to twenty-five buckaroos a person. And I spent a few hundred(give or take)on toys for a hospital toy drive and a giving tree in my town. This made me feel much better(not to mention the pleasure of having to drop off the toys at the local fire station where all of the firefighters were very grateful for the donation...and very good looking)about receiving gift cards to help add to my reading addiction.

The biggest bonus of helping a charity? The inspiration I've had from giving to such an amazing cause. It's boosted my Christmas spirit and sparked my creative juices. Which comes in handy when creative juices run dry.
There's nothing like seeing that happy smile when you've made someone's day to push you forward. Nothing.
Someday, I hope to do that for my readers. I hope to inspire them, to make them think and react.

What about you? What is something that inspires you, especially around the holidays?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pondering Themes


Tell me what kind of books you gravitate toward.
Do you enjoy the ones that are just for fun, a lot of action and drama with no real 'purpose' except to entertain?
Or do you like the ones that have an underlying message? The kind where the main character learns something in the end, something that makes him/her a better person.

I find that I read and write books that have some kind of meaning, something that is important to me and that I want to be important to my readers as well.
Maybe it's because I am so full of advice and I want to get it out there in mass amounts and hope that everyone LISTENS TO ME!!! :)
Or maybe it's because stories that teach you something always seem to inspire me, even if I already live by what is being taught. In that case, it might actually inspire me more.

The picture I found stands for 'believe in yourself'. This is something I preach to everyone who is in need of advice for...well, pretty much anything.
And because I write YA, I believe that this theme falls into play a lot. Who needs to believe in themselves more than teens who are struggling to find a place for themselves in this crazy world?

How about you? Do you have any favorite themes? Or do you just like to read(and write)books that simply entertain and detach yourself from the real world?