Friday, December 31, 2010


There's just something about starting fresh...

Seeing as I've been the new kid in school about a dozen times (nope, I'm not a military brat, by the way), it's a little unbelievable to say that I like change. I mean, after so many times you have to get sick of it, right?


Each and every time I moved to a new town, I always had this bubbling sense of enthusiasm. It's new. It's fresh. It's a chance to start over and reinvent yourself. Who doesn't want that? Sooo, of course with that attitude, it is correct to presume that I have made a few New Year's Resolutions. And here are some of them:

1. Get healthy. (Not that I'm sick or something, but the cliche resolution to lose weight and stay in shape. Annnnd try to reassert my will power. Wherever it went...) And with this resolution I've decided to take up running again. I used to love it. Why can't I love it again?

2. Seriously. Write. My. Book.

3. Read 75 books this year. Yes siree.

4. Transfer to a University.

5. Write at least once a week on both of my blogs. Hopefully my followers will like this one. Hee.

So, there's a few good ol' fashioned resolutions. If I didn't have a killer head ache right now and if I wasn't so tired (some of us had to work today. meh.), I would probably try to liven this up with a quippy joke or maybe an all too serious post about writing and time and writing resolutions... Alas, I can barely make my fingers hit the right keys. Tomorrow is a new day! Tomorrow is a new year!

Happy New Year everybody! I hope 2011 will be the year to beat! Be safe out there!

Monday, December 20, 2010

To Co-Write or Not to Co-Write... That IS the Question.

Hello, everyone! I hope you're having a wonderful holiday, and in case I forget to add this very joyous statement on at the end: Merry Christmas (and also in case I disappear again, Happy New Year!)!

So, NaNoWriMo was very interesting. I wrote. A lot. And read very little. But strangely enough, I have been writing even more in December. Why? Because I have taken on a new project. The adaption of a previous work that was written with a friend. We decided to adapt said project on November 26th, and since have written 129 pages of... awesomeness. That probably equates to anywhere between 60-80 pages on my part. It has been a whirlwind of words. I've found out about characters in more depth than I had ever thought possible-- all because I already had their basic personality down pat (including a few complexities already established in early stages of writing). I mean, it's even more exciting to write because I have someone on the other end that's both writing her own section of the book and pestering me to finish on my end. It's very motivating. How can it not be when you have someone that's just as enthusiastic and who is sharing the work?

The only drawback is... working on your individual book becomes what? That's right, ladies and gents. Almost nonexistent. I'm hoping I can get back on that gig soon, but I'm a little wrapped up in the adaption of this very exciting and very captivating book right now.

I'll check back in soon with an update or two.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Writing Until Your Fingers Fall Off

... is very interesting to say the least.

Technically, that's a lie though. Since all of my fingers are still intact. But still. It was a close call.

So, I figured it was time for a NaNo update of some sort. It IS, after all, my first year actually attempting all of this. Let's talk about what I've learned so far from this particular grueling month of novel writing:

1. Updating your word count every 50 or so words is NOT necessary, but it IS completely and totally fun.

2. Pep Talks from the staff of NaNoWriMo and/or amazingly accomplished authors can either be very helpful or very riddle-like.

3. I now know why they say to start from scratch on your novel.

4. When participating in a massive, national self challenge like this, you'll find very little time to read (I'm very serious on this one. I finished a book in 10 days. Normally I would've finished three times as many).

5. When adding writing buddies and being shown each of their word count status thingies, you can become very competitive.

6. Week Two is cursed.

7. You will question yourself and your novel various times through-out the process. Supposedly this is normal.

8. John Green says that you are probably just writing a big folly, but that that's okay because follies can be turned into pretty darn good novels. Of course not in one month. More like three years. But still. <-- Helpful AND riddling!

9. The evil blinking cursor on word needs to lower it's expectations. Seriously.

10. And lastly, when you are behind on your word count it becomes difficult to complete any other task without thinking "I should probably be writing instead of this". Blog posting shouldn't count, right? Technically I AM writing. It just won't be added to that meticulous word count widget. Darn the world!

There you have it. Ten things so far that I have learned from NaNoWriMo-ing. It's really not all that different from trying to write a book every other month out of the year, except for the fact that you have a set deadline and if you win you get street cred. And a PDF winner's certificate. I was mistaken about the shirt. I thought I could win a shirt. *sad face*

What I like the most about it?
-It allows you to suck. Horribly. AND it forces you to write.

What I like least about it?
-The competitiveness. You either feel awesome because you're way ahead or totally low because all of your friends are ahead of YOU now. Go them! Boo you!

Now... Back to writing... orrr maybe imagining thyself inserted into the computer screen on Word and snapping that evil cursor in half. Eh... Probably both.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

November is Approaching...

I apologize to everyone!

I know I've been out pretty much for the whole month annnd I'm sorry. I've had a lot on my plate lately with work and playing ping pong with my storylines and my cats being so darn adorable and entertaining. But all of this is no excuse really! Back to work and on probation, they say...

So the point is I have finally (with the help of immense chocolate candy bars and verbal slapping of a best friend) chosen which idea (path in some blog posts) to go with! Hooray! It's a miracle!

*clears throat*

And with this decision, comes sacrifice...

Has anyone ever tried NaNoWriMo? I've known about it since my junior year when I first took a creative writing class, but I've never entered... until this year. And already I'm starting off on a bad note. You see, the project I chose to do has already been started and I'm 40,000 words into this WIP (Work In Progress). One of the rules to doing NaNoWriMo and winning that famous purple badge that tells everyone you were committed for 30 days and ended up with 50,000 fabulous words is... you have to start from scratch. Blank page. Clean slate. No emotional attachments and slippery expectations, so to speak (or so I've been told). And I refuse!

You see, this would be awesome. It would be completely and totally cool to just say "Pah! Goodbye sticky story hanging over my head! Onto something new!"... BUT I've already done that. About 50,000 times (one for every word in this cool 30 day challenge). One thing I've learned is that it leaves me with... nothing, really. No finished novel. No feeling of accomplishment. Just another excuse to throw in the towel when the next shiny new idea comes prancing across my WIP, leaving it's muddy tracks on the reasons that I SHOULD stick with what I started. I really don't need any MORE reasons and/or temptation to ditch another novel after I've already come so far! After trying to explain/get feeback in the NaNoWriMo forums about this subject, I was told that my only other option was to join the Nano Rebels. My first time doing this and I'm already a rebel... Of course.

Anyway, if any of y'all writers are out there reading this, what are YOUR thoughts on NaNoWriMo? Are you starting with a clean slate? Are you a rebel like me? I'd love to hear your November plans!

Pssst! November's also my birthday month! Yay! Just a random fact...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Special Review

So, about a week ago I was asked to review this great book I've been anticipating for months now. INTRINSICAL by Lani Woodland debuted in late August and I am really quite flattered that I was asked to read and review this one. It turned out to be an amazing read and I would like to interrupt my special writing time, and blogging time, to ask you all to go check out said review on my other blog:

My Review of Intrinsical

If and whenever you get the chance, I suggest that you really give this story a chance! It's definitely worth the risk. Happy reading!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wishy Washy

That is exactly what I am.

I can NEVER. EVER. NEVER EVER make up my mind.

For the past four years I have been jumping between two story ideas. One includes my personal therapy, and yet extensive religious research. The second one was a spontaneous reaction to what one of my "supposed" side characters would do in a certain unwanted situation. And I find that once I choose one, I constantly think about the other. It is a vicious conspiracy that works against me to make sure that I NEVER finish a single book. And I hate that it's working.

I suppose the smart choice would be to continue on with my second story idea, which so far has about eighty five pages done, and work on researching/outlining the first idea at the same time. Since neither will shut up for the other. But will this really work?

I guess we'll find out.

*insert dramatic closing sequence here*
To be continued...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Directions

Every plot seems to find them. New directions that is. It's annoying, it's confusing, and sometimes just plain sloppy. But that's the way of writing it would seem. Annoying, confusing, and sloppy.

I have finally been able to write, with the help of my plotline that I wrote out not two to three months ago. Unforunately, when there is one change, there seems to be ten other details to add in. And I have had more than one change. It makes weaving a new idea and/or chapter into one's book very hard. When I try to steer one of my character's fates in a different direction, then suddenly it's very hard to get them back on the same track. But I guess that's just the way it goes sometimes. There's a million possibilities and yet you have to choose only one. Sounds a little bit like life and not just writing a book.

As it is, I am not much of a fan of outlining. It's not easy and it's definitely not a short process. Hopefully, these new ideas, or what I like to call diseases, won't spread through-out the entire length of the plot.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Hectic Schedules and Brainstorming

So! Last week I went on a long rant about age and experience and titles. Yeah, even the calm ones get fired up sometimes. But as for this week, I've been brainstorming about what to do next in the writing field. Well, in my novel's writing field at least. It's a considerably smaller arena and one that I like to fence myself into a lot. However, it's complex enough that I can talk about it over and over and over again. So, here goes.

I got a new job. No, seriously, I really did get an actual job in the real world so I can save up for college next semester. I really needed one, and I've been hunting non stop for the past six months, and now finally, I have one! But I've been thinking about how this is going to effect my schedule, and honestly... I might not have all the time in the world to write anymore. That means I'm going to have to be more diligent about fitting it in and making deadlines- not the easiest thing for me. You see, I pride myself on my spurs. Otherwise known as my spur of the moment nonsense code that I live by. Even term papers were part of this conventional style of mine. However, since I'm not very good at getting my books finished (I just got to 64 pages and it's been two years since I first came up with this idea), I know that I'm going to actually have to push myself to write.

You see, there's always something that seems to get in the way for writers. Unless you're amazing like Kiersten White and can finish your book in 3 weeks, or Abra Ebner and jot down every word in eleven freaking days (so jealous), then you're going to HAVE to push yourself to write. And it's a grueling process. Luckily, I'm not like White where I have two kids to look after. You see, she really IS Superwoman. But I am going to be working a LOT to save money for school and then in January I plan on being back in school while still working this job (if everything goes right). Sooo, I'm going to have even less time. And my whole goal (while crazy) is to finish the first draft of my novel by January so that I can work on editing in-between my homework and everything else that interrupts without knocking.

Man, life really is stressful.

All in all, life is short. There's always something or other to deal with, but if you love writing and you have a dream- make time for it.

I would like to say thank you to Lacey, one of my best friends, for giving me a planner. I didn't know it then, but I'm sure gonna have a use for it!

Happy scheduling folks!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Aging Experience

Warning: Rant Ahead!

Lately, two things have been running around in my head- both coincided to one another. I am only 19 years old. Yes, shocker for those of you who don't know me, considering that I am well aversed with my writing. That was a joke. And a bad one, I know. But as it is, I have been looking at the writer's world and have seen that most published authors, while being amazing that they are and envy-worthy, have at least 3-6 years on me. If not more. Their experience level is usually through the roof and their connections... let me tell you...

What does this mean for me? I ask myself constantly.

Even at a young age, people ask you... "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Even now, they ask me "What do you plan on majoring in?" or they tell me, "Oh, you want to be a writer?"

Is it wrong to answer, "No. I AM a writer, ma'am."? Because that is truly, how I view myself. I may not be published, I may not be in my late twenties, and I may NEVER get published, but I AM a writer. I write. I work insanely hard to make it good. I ask for feedback, etc. I've BEEN writing since I was 12 years old. I love books and my life seems to revolve around them. Why can't I have that title?

It seems that people don't want to call you a writer unless you actually have something published. For instance, if your parents tell someone that you ARE a writer, they immediately are asked what you have written and where they can find it. But if they tell someone that you WANT to be a writer, then they coo about how lovely that is and how ONE DAY they'd like to read what you write. As if, I'm not already writing. As if the idea of my book on shelves is such a far and distant dream.

Well, I'm here to disclaim all of that nonsense. If you write. And you enjoy writing. And you DO have a far off dream of being published one day. Then damnit people, you're a writer. Take the title because it's yours.

Age and experiene won't come by being published. It comes by writing whenever you can, however you can, and learning by your mistakes. Writing and rewriting and rewriting and editing and then rewriting AGAIN. Experience and connections? They won't get you anywhere unless you have a finished book. So, get to it.

Okay... pep talk to myself over.

P.S. To all those lovely writers who are anywhere from a day to several years older than me and have experience and connections galore... You're amazing! Please sprinkle your writer's fairy dust my way!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dead Ends and Wrong Turns

This is a sign. For a dead end. But since we all know I'm not talking about the road, why don't I just get right into it.

A month or two ago, I wrote a post about choosing a path to write about (That was the one with the pretty black and white picture with the two streets/paths separated by the fancy fence). Now, I'm right back at that fork, trying to choose another path. It's not easy. In fact, it's just down right mean sometimes. It's almost as if there were signs lined up all along the way, telling me exactly where I was headed, and yet... I was unable to heed them.

But why not just choose a path, right? Why NOT just turn around when I hit that dead end? If I can't choose a path, why not walk down both and find the right choice at the end of each?

And in this dilemma there lies my answer. Walk down both. Do the work. Make a choice.

To be continued...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Alpha Reader

Yeah, that's right. I have one. What is it, you ask? Let me explain...

Alpha Reader: A cool phrase designed to identify the initial reader of an unpublished novel/book that critiques and offers feedback to the author/writer of said novel/book.

In other words, my best friend reads my stuff first. From my book that is.

Now, honestly I can't take the credit for this idea. Kiersten White, author of the upcoming debut novel Paranormalcy, gave me the idea for an alpha reader on one of her blog posts. This one --> Back to the Beginning to be exact. And at first, I was thinking, "What? Let someone read my stuff before it's copyrighted? Are you insane, woman?!" But then, I thought about it some more and it made perfect sense. I find that I get writer's block QUITE often, you see. However, when I feel like I have a deadline or an audience I can make myself write better and not fret about editing it or just wondering if someone would like what I'm writing, because now I have someone to tell me what they think. I have an alpha reader that can give me feedback when I'm stuck, tell me what they think works and what they think doesn't work. I mean, you can't ALWAYS go with what your alpha reader suggests, but it doesn't hurt to have some help along the way. This is a journey, afterall, and there's nothing wrong with picking up a few stragglers for your own companions.

It works out, considering she's writing a book herself and I'm her alpha reader too. There's a lot of perks to having a critique partner. For one, you can honestly tell each other when you're not feeling a certain scene in the book, or when you're not getting enough out of a chapter. The only downside is getting a reply screaming for "I want MORE now!!!" And seeing this face -->

So, you see... That's not exactly a face you can turn down.

A few suggestions for choosing an alpha reader of your own would be:

1. Choose someone you trust.

2. Choose someone that has time to read your stuff.

3. And make sure you have time for them as well.

Pertaining to suggestion one, if you can't trust someone with your writing you shouldn't let them read it.

Pertaining to suggestion two, don't ask someone who doesn't have a lot of free time to read large quantities of your book. Odds are, their email will get backed up with unread messages by the annoying author.

Pertaining to suggestion three, if you're not willing to help them out in return or you don't have time to read their critique, then for one you probably shouldn't even be looking for an alpha reader, and two you need to save all of your free time for writing anyway.

Those are the big three suggestions when browsing for an alpha reader. And no, I don't think you can find one on Luckily, I have one now and it's been working out pretty well for the past few weeks. If you can't find just one, then the only other thing I can suggest is a critique group. Cassandra Clare suggested this on her website when she gave advice on writing and I believe Holly Lisle has as well. I don't have the exact articles, so I'll just leave the links to their sites at the bottom of this post.

Alpha Readers can save lives... or at least unfinished books.

Los Links!
Cassandra Clare's Site
Holly Lisle's Site

Summer Saradise Update!

Alright! So do you remember that AWESOME contest that I blogged about a few weeks ago? Well, there has been a couple updates regarding it!

Update 1: It is now international! Yay!

Update 2: It has been extended through August 11th! Eek!

Update 3: If you blog about it you get up to 5 extra points! Yay AND eek!

Update 4: If you tweet about it it's the same thing! Unfortunately, there's no twitter for me, so I will have to rely on my wonderful blog.

*Note on Updates 3&4 you have to leave a comment on the blog post (which I'll link to here in just a moment) with the link to your tweet/post for proof!

I'm telling you, if you haven't entered this contest yet, you should! What have you got to lose? I mean, these are some seriously awesome books that you can win. Torment, Paranormalcy, Personal Demons, The Replacement, Halo, and The Clockwork Angel are ALL up for grabs. How can you turn that down?

Here's the link if you need to update and/or enter the contest! Which you should totally do!

Babbling Flow Contest Update!

P.S. If you're wondering why this isn't on my separate blog, it is because I've already posted about this contest on this one and didn't want to mix it up. But I'll post about it again on my Suspiciously Apt Book Review blog! Now go enter the awesomeness!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Separate Blogs

Look at all the pretty books...

Well, I must say, I can really throw a curve ball at you if I want. You see, I have resorted to a second blog in order to better organize my thoughts (and therefore posts) on subjects that I like to meander on about when I should be posting about the intended subject of the blog that I am posting on! Confused yet? I thought so...

In other words, I have created another blog!

Katie's Suspiciously Apt Book Reviews

You see, while reading my recent posts I have realized that I have encroached upon topics that do not belong in my personal author's journey documentation. Making posts for book blog contests and reviews for such books should probably not be included while talking about my own book and/or writing experiences. So, there you have it! I have made an entirely new blog just so that I can write about these wonderful books and authors that I love so much! I think it's important that I do this so that I do not interrupt the process of my journey to becoming a published author. Perhaps, I am wrong, but I'm going to find out either way.

So off you go! Go check it out!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why I Should Join IPCA

IPCA (The International Paranormal Containment Agency) needs me. Seriously. Why, you might ask? Because I have found a new strand of paranormals that is far more powerful and frightful than any other breed out there!

For instance, it has two bi-colored eyes, a mouthful of teeth and will literally eat ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Beware. The markings on it's fur coat indicate that it is from a far-away land. A land that is filled with cold climates and vast snow storms. Unfortunately, they have started to migrate across the world at an alarming rate. With no glamours to hide their unusual nature it can't be long before the majority population of "normals" discover their frightening presence. This breed must be contained before it is too late (not to mention the fact that if we enlist them we'll have a new source for transportation along with their many attributes towards nabbing strange creatures).

Some things to look for:
As said above, bi-colored eyes (usually one brown and one blue).
Two rows of sharp teeth.
Takes on a canine appearance, but is really a patience-eating, poop machine.
Occasionally howls/yowls. Usually during the hours of limited slumber.
Likes to be let out to use the bathroom 10 times a day or more. As said, POOP MACHINE.
Sometimes pretends to be cute. Don't let it fool you.
Has thick coat of fur and black snout.
Sharp claws.
Likes to jump on people and pant in excitement.
Will eat anything, including fireworks, raisinets, batteries, and a few splinters off of the leg of one's favorite chair.

If you see one of these:

Please report the paranormal directly to me. At this time I am still petitioning IPCA about the dangers that this breed of paranormals presents. Again, beware.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, and would like to find out, you're going to have to wait until the book Paranormalcy by Kiersten White comes out on August 31. If you can't wait that long (like me, heh :D), here's a few contests that are giving away an advanced reader's copy:
Kiersten Writes -This is the author's blog! :D

The Publication Follies of Alexandra Shostak -This is Alexandra Shostak's blog!

Babbling Flow -And this is Sara McClung's blog!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

7 ARC Giveaway!

Babbling Flow, a blog by Sara McClung, is giving away 7, that's right, SEVEN amazing ARCs! Want a chance at 'em? Check out the contest! The books include:

The Clockwork Angel
Personal Demons
The Replacement

Are you as stoked as I am? The link is in my sidebar, but I'll make it easy for you :D
Babbling Flow

Good luck everyone! :D

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Enter Daytime Sandman

The mind is a complex and beautiful thing. It's where all of those ideas pop up. The little ones and the great, big ones. Have you ever just let it wander? I know that my nickname is 'spacey katie' for a reason. I've been known for my glazed-over eyes and random thoughts. It's especially entertaining with music in the background.

Sometimes, your mind just needs a chance to dream. I know that I constantly dream. Dreaming is one of my greatest hobbies. It brings peace and passion together in such great force that the only thing I can do is write. Write about the love and freedom I feel in my dreams.

Another tip for writers:
Put down the pen, pencil, step away from the keyboard. Take a moment to dream about your story.

That's all I got today.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I don't know about you- but I like my sleep. I just happen to like coffee too though. Why can't ANYTHING be simple? :)

There are so many different ways to write a book. One of the questions I asked you about, oh I don't know SEVERAL weeks ago, was whether or not you were a plotter, or one of those fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writers. I do believe that there is a type of writer that can be both though. I'm probably one of them, though not a very good one when it comes to choosing the ladder.

During the last week of June, I finished outlining my novel. "Finished" is a very fragile word though and I don't like using it, because truly, when is a writer's outline every TRULY finished? Never.

I used the afore-mentioned handbook that I purchased from Amazon "The Author's Outline..." by Abra Ebner. It helped me IMMENSELY! You have no idea. I'm the kind of writer that's not used to planning every step of my book out. Hence, why I have not been able to actually finish a book perhaps? I believe so. But the truth is, you can outline, write three chapters, fifty pages, have a whole WORLD full of ideas inside that pretty little head of yours and STILL not be able to get it out on paper...

Writer's block is a b*tch.

I think, since we've discussed "doubts" in the previous post and all that THAT entails, you can understand where I'm coming from and why my words are NOT. Pesky little issues that writing deals with, I tell you. But I am trying. And I will keep trying. I think one must set their own deadline in order to truly get it over with. I have so many dreams concerning the literary world with my book in it, and I need to get them realized.

Excuses can be a problem as well. You see, for the past ten days I have had my best friend visit me all the way from Boise, Idaho. Now THAT is a very viable excuse for my lack of writing in all areas (*cough* blog included *cough*) and therefore, I think that I can get away with June's lack of a fourth post :)

I love writing. And I dream of a completed book. Soon hopefully. I give myself one year to have at LEAST one fully written, possibly un-edited manuscript!

And with that goal being written, I will continue discussing outlines. I get so easily steered off course with these posts...

Outlines. Outlining. It is no easy task. I forced myself to finish outlining my novel, because let's face it, it is LONG overdue. So, the steps that I took (using my nifty little handbook- thank you, Abra) were first characters and their descriptions (including their goals in the story), THEN the setting/stage for the story (whether it was real or imaginary- plot that all out), and of course the plot (including whether or not one had several points of view or just the main character's). Inside the plot section there came to be a planning of chapters. This takes the longest (or at least it did for me). It was weird when I was finished outlining. I have this whole skeleton of a story laid out before me and I have to liven it up with all that words can spice? It was more daunting than relieving. Maybe, I just scare easily, but... at least part one of the journey is complete! Now it is writing :) Back to it then!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


When I started this blog, I knew that there would be ups and downs. And I knew that there would be a lot of work put into this writing situation, but... I decided to do it anyway. You see, there's so many decisions a writer has to make when they're trying to put together a novel. There are millions of paths that one can choose from. And seeing as I'm a person who can't make up their mind to save their life, this can cause a very tricky predicament.

One thing I've always wondered, but don't hear much about in the writing world is, how does an author choose between two really great ideas for two completely different books? It seems like there would be a very simple answer to this question, but I haven't found one so easy in all my experience with the written word. I have two storylines that I want to do, and will do, but which one do I choose first?

I've been asking around and have received several ideas for a solution, but... it just doesn't seem that easy.

I put a lot of weight into my decisions, maybe more than I should, but I want to make sure that I make the right decision at the right time. For instance, how much book am I ready for? Have I experience enough to write about either of these storylines with credibility? I want to make this as good as it can be...

But it seems I might be putting too much thought into this. Others have said to just write both; "when you get sick of one story, write the other one for a little bit." But I'm afraid that I might not concentrate on one as much as the other...

I have so many doubts that it's choking my creativity... Perhaps, if I step back and choose to shorten my sights on simply writing what I love to write when I want to write it, then maybe everything will just flow...

One can only hope.

My advice to any writers out there that might be reading this, is to write just because you simply love it. Don't worry about making the right decisions. The good thing about writing is that you can always edit it later. Don't change something just because you're scared that it won't turn out the way you want it. Push through and let it fall into place.

You know, I should be taking my own advice more often.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What I Wouldn't Give For...

More time.

I know, I know... I haven't posted anything in a week and a half. I've already begun to wipe the smashed tomatoes off of my computer screen as I write this. Unfortunately, the reason I haven't posted anything is because... I haven't been doing much in the field of writing this week. Unless you count obsessively checking my goodreads account several times a day.

I've been using The Author's Outline (not as much as I should, but I'm still using it), and so far I'm still only in the character summaries. I'm almost done with that part, but I have a lot of side characters to think about, and I don't want to rush this process. If I end up rushing it then I know I'll get about 80 pages into my novel while I'm writing it and then suddenly want to change the whole idea for a better one that pops into my head. I'm just crazy like that...

I must say though, one good thing can come from a site like goodreads. There are a bunch of groups on there for writing and this can get any author feedback on their work. Which is very helpful in my opinion. I've also received a lot of tips on how to outline my book and stop the madness that incurrs too many ideas at once! Exciting, indeed!

Back to the topic I was hoping to discuss in this post: time. I never seem to have enough of it. I've spent half the summer looking for a job and promising myself that I would finish plotting my novel and start writing it. And tomorrow I'll begin my new job. And hopefully, tomorrow I'll get further in the plotting process as well. But the job part has been worrying me. Am I going to have enough time to write? How am I going to balance my job, my family time, my social life, my book, and reading all into my life's planner? How do I pencil all of this in?

I have no idea.

All I can do is keep living life, I guess. And hope that it all falls into place. Of course, I'm going to keep writing. It's been seven years now and I haven't stopped yet, so why suddenly give up, right? I'll still follow my dream and keep working towards that publication date where I find out that my words are going to be publicly printed and sold to the masses, no matter how many masses that might be.

So now that I've cleared that up... Sorry for the late post. As you can see, I've been dealing with some new news in my life and some internal writing struggles that I had to face. But now that that's all over with, I say let's get back to normal! I'll be posting again this week about creating a character and all that that entails. Until then, please... no more tomatoes. The spaghetti noodles miss them far too much!

Catch you later! I'm going to go read some more :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's... June!

Hello, everyone (if you're reading this anyway, if not then well... bye! lol)!

I trust y'all's weekends were wonderful and filled with some R&R time. I know that mine was eventful, what with my cousin's graduation and all that that entails (*cough* lots of driving *cough*). And yes, to any of you polite readers who may want to know, the graduation went very well! She didn't trip, but she ALMOST did, which calls for an amazing round of applause on her part. Her brother-in-law suggested she take her "walking stick" with her when she walked across the field to retrieve her diploma. Unfortunately for my cousin, those antics of hers are not allowed in sophisticated ceremonies such as these! Even though I was murmuring in agreement with him (hee hee, love you Em).

Anyway, I thought I should post a short(ish) blog for the kick off of June. Since, let's face it, I've only been doing a post once a week on my records of this writing process. June is a lovely month! Full of sunshine, and summery solstices, and just june-buggy good times! Hmmm, I'm sure there are plenty of things happening this month. Especially in the Stephenie Meyer field! Can I hear a yay for The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner and a huzzah for the Eclipse movie coming out on the 30th? How about a few polite thumbs up[s] for one of my best friends travelling all the way across the country to come visit me?! *yay! huzzah! thumbs up!*

In the literary world, other than the wonderful addition to the Twilight Saga(bare with me if you're not a fan, I'll excuse you for now), another book about werewolves is coming out on the 22nd! It's called 13 to Life: A Werewolf's Tale by Shannon Delany. Yay! I love love love werewolves (as you know).

In the movie world, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief comes out on DVD this month, ALSO on the 22nd, I believe! I'm excited for that one too (I heart Logan Lerman (and no, I'm not 14, but I DO admire his acting abilities)).

So, now that I've digressed all that is happening in the outside world in the wonderful month of June, let's discuss this blog!

So far, this journey has not been easy... Technically I should be moving onto the plot and characters section of writing a novel, but I'm still stuck in Research. Yes, I'm still researching... Bah! If I'm being honest, I'll probably be researching through-out this whole process. Lucky me, right? Besides, I have the characters already down pat, but now I need to focus on the plot. Holly Lisle has this excellent technique with flashcards that I've been wanting to try (I'll post the link at the end of this post) and if you're willing to spend a little cash, Abra Ebner has a book called The Author's Outline... it's around 120 pages of fill in the blank to help writers outline their books. I've been using it and it's crazy good! Thus, begins the plotting part of this whole thing.

Now I shall leave you with this question...

Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer? Or are you a plotter?

Suspenseful, isn't it???

We'll come back to this next post! Which will be posted-ed-ed soon!

And here's that link I promised from Holly Lisle's site:

Here's a link to Amazon if you're interested in Abra Ebner's outline help book as well:

Agh, sorry the links are so long... I'm new to this whole thing lol.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Re-Search: Step Two

(All right, so I needed to post earlier than planned due to an unplanned weekend trip this weekend! My cousin's graduating! Yay! So I'm not finished with this second step yet, but I'm confident that I can give an accurate account of the Research process. Yeah... I'm going to try to explain the boring in a non boring fashion. Good luck, right?)

Annnd... there are STILL pre-steps before the actual writing process begins.

They really aren't kidding when they tell you that you have to research your book. In fact, the re part of that word is the whole point of it's existence. You search a location... then you research the location of that location. And then you research the restaurants of that location's location, and the neighborhoods of the location's location until you can find the exact location of your character's location! And then you research ridiculous things that aren't so ridiculous in your book, like how to say Grandma in Greek (it's giagia in case you were wondering; pronounced ya ya). It's Exhaustion spelled with a capital E sprinkled with a little bit of sore fingers and dry eyes, and the code name for it is so cleverly called Research.

Why put myself through this Exhaustion you ask?

Because I need to know what the heck I'm talking about (and if you still don't know what I'm talking about, why don't you research it? ;) Ha ha).

If an author doesn't know what he/she is writing then how can he/she write it? Yes, I'm asking even more questions of you. And the easy answer is: he/she can't.

There are so many elements to a story. You have the characters, the plot, the setting, the problem, the antagonist, and a million stories behind each of these. Imagine researching backgrounds for each character. Researching elements of the plot, and location, etc. Basically researching elements within each element of the story. It's not easy...

For instance, my main character in the book that I'm working on has Greek heritage on her father's side. Now, I don't know about you, but I know I'm not going to learn the whole Greek language inside and out in a short amount of time before I can write (this is why the internet was born!) So I have to learn the words she will say the most in Greek (like Grandma/giagia from the above paragraph). You see, if you're going to research you might as well be smart about it. An author doesn't need to go to Italy to be able to write about it (again, thank you internet creators!), one simply needs to research the area that their story will mostly pertain to in Italy.

Needless to say, this step hasn't been very fun. It's work learning the details, but imagine if one of my readers came up to me and said, "I read your book and I love that Luna goes to the same high school as me! But why isn't she in Gym? It's required all four years...". And my answer would be to... blink several times while I thought of a good excuse. Of course, knowing every single detail of every single detail isn't going to be expected of the author, but in order to have a valid/realistic storyline they should know the most important ones.

Over all, this is probably the longest step to the pre-writing stage of an author's journey. Gathering information about information takes FOREVER and needs to be done carefully. Hopefully I can cross over from this step to the characters section... See you next week!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The First Step

I couldn't tell you how many times I've searched for an easy answer to starting a novel. I've searched through pages and pages of google for some author's advice on writing... I've read dozens of How-to-Write books... I've asked writers themselves how they cross that threshold and begin the journey of writing a masterpiece.

And none of these made a lightbulb come on over my head.

The advice on writing is always ambiguous, because truthfully (and any writer, published or unpublished can account for this) there is NO right answer.

Here's a nifty definition for writing, found on
Write: to express ideas in writing.
Write: to trace or form characters, words, etc., with a pen, pencil, or other instrument or means, or as a pen or the like does: He writes with a pen.
Write: to execute or produce by setting down words, figures, etc.

And sometimes it's just as complicated as the definition makes it sound...

Writing isn't an organized math problem. Writing isn't a recipe. There is no set formula or correct answer at the end of the problem before you. There are no measurements for creativity (add half a cup of characters and one teaspoon of tension and aha! there's your masterpiece). One has to find their own way to write, on their own time, and on their own path.

There is no guarantee that one will end up with a masterpiece as well. Writing is hard work. It can be fun and worthwhile, but anything that is will come with a price. Writing takes courage and the ability to accept failure at every turn, while still maintaining the hope for success.

So when I thought about what the first step to beginning a novel would be... I thought of the reason behind it.

Why does a writer choose to write?

This is what I believe to be the first step one must take before they begin. Because... if you don't know why you're writing then how can you begin a journey without a reason? Without a destination?

First, there is an idea... That idea might be completely random, it might not even surface as a potential book, article, journal, blog post, etc., but that idea is what initially takes place. Someone might say, "Wow, you know you should write a book..." and ta-da! You feel the urge to put pen to paper and let the world know what wonderful things pop into your brain magically! But what are you hoping to gain out of this?

A job?
A legacy?

If any of these reasons make the top of the "why?" list, then I must warn you... writing is probably not the right thing for you. You might as well try to be an actress or a singer, or both! Oooh, a double threat! Shucks, you might as well try to be Oprah before you try to make it big by writing a book...

The point is, if you're not in love with the idea of writing, and more in love with the idea of being published and signing autographed copies of your book to the millions of fans that read them, then I'd say put the pen in the drawer and back away slowly, because... it's not likely to turn out that way. I mean, if it does then great! And if you sincerely think you're going to become famous that way then go for it and prove me wrong! But I would be sincerely disappointed in an author that wanted only to gain fortune and fame from his/her novel rather than to share characters and a story that has been stuck in their head and wouldn't shut up or turn off until they told it to the world.

Writing takes courage and patience. But if one is willing to face the failures that are sure to come with it then they will choose to get up no matter how many times they fall.

Why do I want to write?

This is a question that I knew I had to face before I even thought about typing a sentence, before I even began the research or the outline, or even jotted down character profiles...

I want to write because I have a song to sing, an idea to share, and characters that won't shut up...

So, before one grabs their pen and a piece of paper, ask... why? If one can figure out an answer to this question then they can cross that threshold and decide on a path to finishing this long and difficult journey.

For more advice on writing:
See Holly Lisle's article and advice on writing at

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sisters Red

There is a new book about werewolves that I am promoting! And we all know how I feel about werewolves sooo, here it is:

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce is a story about two sisters, both deeply affected by the loss of their grandmother to a fenris. Fenris is the werewolf in this story!

For an interview with Jackson Pearce about her new book and just fun, random questions go to

There, you can also enter a contest for a free ARC of Sisters Red.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blah Blah Blog?

Some of you were probably wondering why in the world I decided to write a blog. To this I had to answer...

I had no idea.

However! I have finally made up my mind for what this blog will be about:

An author's journey to getting published.

That's right! I am going to document my experience as a beginning author from first outline until the day that I receive news of my publication acceptance! And no, I am not sure that any of those phrases are politically correct in the literary world, but no nevermind about that now. Here is my plan for this blog...

First, I plan on posting once a week about a writing experience. This will start with the research of my book and it's elements.

Secondly, I most likely will not post my entire novel on this blog, but rather my thoughts and concerns on the process.

Thirdly, anyone who finds a random interest in these posts are more than welcome to leave comments or even lend advice! Advice would be most welcome! (I apologize for any formal comments in this post. I am currently watching Romeo and Juliet and therefore am hearing and reiterating proper speech. *gasp* I know...)

When shall I begin this said process of an author's journey to the published masterpiece? This week! If I do not post by Sunday morning then feel free to throw a tomato at the screen and leave comments that curse me...

Let the journey begin!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Well, I would like to say that this is my first blog post and I am quite excited! I decided since I wasn't sure exactly what to write about for this post, I would enter a contest! This contest is for the upcoming sequel to Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I love this series for many reasons, but it connects with me directly because of one single theme: werewolves. I LOVE werewolves.

With that being said, I hereby promote the trailer of the book Linger by Maggie Stiefvater and encourage all who enjoy werewolves, romance, suspense, and pure epic-ness in the supernatural genre to read and watch both the book and this trailer! Enjoy: