Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Morning funnies in character development

Nearly shot coffee through my nose reading this yesterday morning. (I know. You probably didn't need to know that).

Anyway, the wicked-funny Maggie Stiefvater posted this witty piece on her LJ and Fangs, Fur & Fey. Go forth into character development, and have a good laugh while you're at it. Hysterical. Go check it out! (The last one with Edward and Harry Potter is my favorite).

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Lost dog! If you live in/near Vancouver/Whistler, BC . . .


(via Colleen): "Writer Kim Werker's beautiful dog Cleo has run off, spooked by the sound of the avalanche-explosives. If you live near the Vancourver, BC area, can you please help her look for her dog? Edit to add: Tracks seen northbound Hwy 99 (past Emerald, Whistler BC)."

Holiday recap

1) Travel: 8 hours in a car with a one-year-old, an eight-year-old and a Great Dane. 'nuff said.

2) Holiday: Fabulous as always. Tons of presents. Knee-deep in wrapping paper. Way too much food and chocolate. (As always). Gained four pounds. Heh.

3) On the writing front: Finished the first pass of revisions, which consisted of line edits and making comments/notes within the manuscript (to help with the second pass). I've also started on the second round and am making good progress.

Before leaving for our travels, I had an amazing phone conversation with my editor about the book. Nearly one and a half hours of coolness. I have to admit to being a little apprehensive and nervous about this call. It was my first brainstorming session with an editor. I'm a writer, not a speaker, so I tend to worry about articulating my thoughts well enough. But, I think I did an okay job . . . Most likely due to the fact that I hit the editor jackpot. Ed is incredibly creative, really easy to talk to and made me feel very comfortable. We came up with some awesome ideas.

Oh, and my copy of the signed contract arrived while I was gone. It's official!

Hope everyone had a great holiday!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I'll be traveling for the holidays, so blogging will be sporadic for the next week or so.  I hope everyone is safe and snug during all the hustle and bustle of the season.  And whatever holiday you celebrate, I wish everyone a great one!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Santa came early . . .

I received the following box yesterday, propped next to my front door . . .  
It was heavy and **gasp** it was from Simon & Schuster!  I ripped that baby open and found a hard copy of my revisions with line edit from my editor.  Awesome.    

Then, I went to pick up the empty box and it still felt really heavy.  What's this?  I looked inside and, **gasp #2**, books.  There were books in the box!!  For me!!  Books for me!!

If you can't see, they are:  Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready, Unclean Spirits by M.L.N. Hanover, Staked by J.F. Lewis, A Rush of Wings by Adrian Phoenix, and Adrian's, In the Blood, which doesn't come out until Dec. 30th, I believe.  (And some of you might remember my love of Adrian's first book, so I'm way excited to have the second!)  

I heart my editor.     

As for the revisions . . .  Nothing major.  I didn't have any heart palpitations while reading through them.  :-)  Everything looks great and absolutely doable.  In fact, I'm looking forward to digging in and making this book shine. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cheez-it notes

This is how I spent my night last night.  Making notes on a Cheez-It box.  :D  Surprisingly this worked out very well, awesome things occurred to me.  Awesome.  Things.  I think it's the box.  It's magic.

And don't bother trying to zoom and see all my mad scientist ideas -- it won't work.  I made sure.  Bwah, bwah, wha, ha, ha, ha . . .

Monday, December 15, 2008

Authors on air

Courtesy of Fangs, Fur & Fey . . .  Want to hear Jenna Black, Rachel Vincent, Jeaniene Frost & Jeanne Stein talk about writing the first book in a series?  This is really great info and insight for writers as well as readers of these authors.  I listened to it last night and thought it was great.  It's hosted by Eos Executive Editor, Diana Gill.

If you go to the RSS feed, you'll also find the first two episodes of Authors on Air.

Making progress

See that progress bar on the left?  I'm going to update it every Friday with my weekly word count total.  I do have a daily goal that I try to meet, but I know I won't update the code every day.  So every Friday it is.  Hey, just had an idea.  If anyone else wants to check in on Friday with their word counts, feel free in the comments section.  

In other thoughts . . .  This is the first book (Book 2) that I'm writing without a title.  Weird.  I always have the title when I began the rough draft.  But then, this is my first sequel, too, so maybe that's the difference.  Who knows.  It's also the first book I'm writing under contract with a deadline that is not my own.  THE BETTER PART OF DARKNESS was already written when I sold, but B2 was sold based on a short synopsis.  

Pressure = motivation.  :D   So say we all.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Just doing my morning rounds in the Blogosphere and got distracted from my intended post by Cheri Priest's new novel, Fathom, which I believe came out a few days ago.  Oh.  My.  God.  I must read this book.  It's wonderfully different, yet has all the fantastical elements I love.  And it's just a whole lot of coolness.  Here's the synopsis on her blog:

An ageless water witch schemes to bring old gods back to glory, but awakening the Leviathan is no small feat–and it’s none too compatible with the survival of humanity. Nevertheless, a handful of ambitious villains are open to recruitment and the ranks of darkness fill with surprising speed. Aided by an eighteenth-century Spanish pirate and his deranged young lover, the witch strives to bring about the end of the world.

But between the cracks hide forgotten old things. Ignored–but far from powerless–they claim a hero of their own. The soul they salvage was destined for a watery grave, but the timing is right and the lingering elementals have better ideas.

Now the End of Days is challenged by a strange and powerful new creature, distilled from stone by a servant of the earth who refuses to surrender his green fields and muddy plains. Not yet. Add to his arsenal a hapless insurance inspector and the irate priest of a fire god, and suddenly rural Florida doesn’t seem quite so sleepy anymore.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Guest blogging today!

EDITED TO ADD:  Thanks to everyone for dropping by and reading my guest post yesterday!!  You guys ROCK!

I'm guest blogging over at Fantasy Debut today.  The topic is 'getting my contract'.  Please stop by and check it out!   :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

File it under . . .

Places to visit:  Fantasy Debut.  Tomorrow.  I'll be posting about another milestone.  This one focuses on getting my contract.  Please stop by and visit.  I'll also be stopping by periodically to answer any questions or to comment.

And this one gets filed under Get A Life:  A mom in a nearby school complained about the kindergarten Christmas performance in which her child was participating.  Why?  Because she was offended by the song Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Says it has "religious undertones".   C'mon.  One, they are FIVE years old.  And, two, as far as X-Mas songs go, Rudolph is one of the most secular songs of the bunch.  Anyway, the school took the song off the list, but then after many complaints by other parents, the school re-examined the song, going over the lyrics line by line to search for any "religious undertones".   Big surprise, they didn't find any.  Rudolph has since been reinstated.   Call it a Christmas miracle, LOL.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


I hurt my wrist.  It's swollen, bruised and achy.  And to make matters worse, it's my right wrist, and I'm right handed.  Feels much better today.  Yesterday and last night, not so much; every time I'd lift a finger to type, pain shot down my arm.   I think I might need an x-ray.  Gah.  Note to self:  when you clear the living room and silly-dance with your kids, make sure when you fling arms wide and spin around and around, you're aware of where the walls and corners are, kay?  Not fun when you smack your wrist bone on the corner of the moulding between rooms . . .  

Friday, December 05, 2008

Writing Caves

I don't have a cave. I have a chair, ottoman and laptop. There is an "office area" in my house. It has bookshelves, an old PC, wall calendar, stacks of notebooks, binders and books. But, I cannot write in there. Dunno why. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to take a pic of "The Chair". Sometimes it's "The Couch", which sits diagonal to the chair, but mostly it's the chair and usually there are a bunch of books, notes and crap piled on the side table . . . But I actually cleaned yesterday.

If you want to check out pics of other author's writing caves, Paige Cuccaro has a ton on her website. She's got Kim Harrison, Laurel K. Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and more . . . Neat site.

My CP, Jenna Black has my favorite office of all time. You will be suitably envious, lemme tell you. Go to Dusted (a very cool blog) to see pics.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Check it out: Blogging Advice for New Authors

Pushing my intended day's post aside because I just read Tia Nevitt's fabulously helpful post at Fantasy Debut, "Blogging Advice for New Authors". Great information. And make sure to check out the comments section, too, as there are some additional tips therein. Well worth the read.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Awesome moments

I meant to post this a while back . . . I was in B&N perusing the Sci-fi/fantasy section and finally picked up fellow S&S author, Chris Evans' gorgeous book, A Darkness Forged in Fire. Chris and I share the same editor, which in and of itself is really cool and mind blowing. i.e., I have an editor, and I am holding one of his books! Awesome moment Number One.

Awesome moment Number Two: I moved down the line to check out the selection of Neil Gaiman titles. And then it hit me. The authors went Gaiman/Gear. Guess who fits smack dab in the middle? Picture me blinking and my jaw dropping in slow-mo. :D

My book is going to be published. It's going to be in the bookstore. It's going to (possibly) be shelved right next to an author whose imagination and worlds have inspired me and strengthened my love for the genre, and whose writing I admire like crazy.

Surreal. Humbling. Moment.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Let there be lights!

Christmas lights. One of my favorite things about the holidays.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Writing when you don't want to . . .

This is one of those things you offer up to the gods of professionalism. Writing when you don't want to. Well, actually you do it for the good of your career (published or not), but don't let the gods know I went there 'cus we all know what a fickle bunch they can be.

So in sickness, health, gorgeous days, rainy days that lull you into clean sheets and soft down matttress pad, and days when you just can't think of a damn thing to write -- write anyway. Even if it's crap. Even if you know before the first word hits the page that it's all going to be a huge, steaming pile of rhino poo. Write the poo. Trust me on this. Write. The. Poo.

Sure, days come up where ::ahem:: poo happens, we need to take off or just need a nice day outside to enjoy. And it's okay to give yourself permission to do so. As long as you get back on track. Or guess what? The next day it's harder, and the next, and the next . . . And before you know it two weeks have gone by.

It's like changing your eating habits or working out. Writing is a habit you must maintain. It (and the muse) won't always maintain itself. This is self-employment, self-discipline at its toughest. You are your own boss. You set your own hours and breaks and time off. And it's so, so easy to turn a one day break into a three day break into a three month break.

I get so much done when I stick to a schedule. And I have noticed over the years when I do allow myself long breaks of no writing, it's tougher every single time to get back into a routine again. And writing when I feel like it is no longer an option. So, it's back to structure and will power, and daily page count offerings to the gods for me!