Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Query First

I had a really hard time writing the query for my first book. In fact, I'm still tweaking it, so I decided to try something different. While I'm writing the book or even before I write the book, I write the query.

Crazy you say.

I actually find this really helps. It allows me to identify any problems, whether that be conflict, plot, character, or voice. Plus by the time I've finished the book, I won't have to spend a lot of time writing the query.

What do you think? Do you ever write the query first?

PS: In the What's Happening on the sidebar, Laural Garver's book is being released tomorrow. Stop by her blog and congratulate her.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Grasping at Eternity

Back in the summer, I had the privilege of being able to read Karen Hooper's next book Grasping at Eternity.

I've been following Karen's blog since I started blogging many moons ago. Her descriptions of her Kindrily series had me hoping it would one day be published, so I could read it. So I was super excited to finally read it a couple of months ago. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I waited until now to blog about it, so more people would be back from summer vacation.

Here's a description:

Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories. 

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she's supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life.

Honestly, love, a family with supernatural abilities, and reincarnation, I couldn't put the book down.

In fact, it was the first book I read completely on my kindle. 

Karen creates such wonderful worlds where her characters have to fight to find the love of their lives. 

I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it.

How about you? Have you read any good books lately?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday Favorites

This week I'm taking a cue from Carolyn V and have started a "What's Happening" bulletin on the side of my blog. Her blog post kind of hit me last week. I haven't been very good at reaching out to people, which probably comes from my fear of rejection.

So, I've decided to try to be better at sharing good news, announcements, accomplishments, anything that helps reach out to others.

For today, I've decided to highlight Elana Johnson's new cover. For one, it's an awesome cover. Second, Elana has always been willing to reach out to writers whether published or not. She tries to respond to comments and comment back even though she's a published author.

So congrats to Elana.

Other things I've loved this week or am going to love. My days off work, the massage I'm going to get today, watching my middle child play volleyball, watching my boys play basketball together on Saturday, watching my daughter get excited about art.

How about you? What did you love this week?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A little bit goes a long ways

My daughter was ready to quit basketball this summer. She had it in her mind that she wasn't very good and wouldn't make the top team. So one night my husband took her outside and spent some time showing her how to shoot and dribble with her head up. Her gave her encouragement and told her she was doing well, which made her want to try even more.

For the next few nights, she went outside by herself and practiced for a couple of hours.

There have been more times than I'd like to admit where I've thought about quitting this whole writing thing. Yesterday being one of them. I kept thinking why am I doing this if I'm not getting any better? Is this really worth it? Yes, I was having one of those days and all it took was one little comment of encouragement to make me realize that I was being stupid. I love to write. I love to create stories. They may not be perfect - yet, but I still love that feeling when a sentence comes together. Sometimes I forget  and I have a day like yesterday.

I wish I could bottle that feeling up and drink whenever I'm feeling low. I'm sure I could make a fortune off that.

How about you? What gets you out of your 'I don't want to write anymore' moments or am I only one who has those?

Monday, September 17, 2012


I had a post up earlier this morning, but the formatting was all out of whack so I took it down and instead will do a short post on my weekend.

On Saturday our internet was down for the whole day, which meant no TV, no internet, no email.

So what to do? Well a good option would have been to write, but no instead I cleaned my house for five hours (dishes, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, bathrooms, washed all bedding). My husband worked all day outside and I felt like I couldn't take a break until he did, which begs the question.

How do you go write when everyone else in the house is working? Do you ever feel guilty?

Obviously I did on Saturday that's why I didn't do any writing until 10pm that night.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Favorites

For this week it's been kind of a love hate thing. At first I hate them, but after I take a few deep breaths and a walk around the block, they are my favorite things.

What is it that could elicit such a response?


When you first open the document and see that it didn't return with 'I LOVED IT' written all over the pages, your shoulders slump, your throat clenches and you can't possible imagine how you can fix something that you've worked so hard on and thought was perfect.

But then, like I said, you take a few deep breaths, a walk around the block, and maybe a bite of chocolate and begin to think more rationally. You see that the red marks are actually going to make your writing better. The suggestions are worthwhile to read. And you should make some if not most of their suggestions. Then your shoulders straighten, your throat unclenches, and you can picture all the corrections you're going to make so that your manuscript shines.

So to all the people who have critiqued my work - you are my favorite thing this week.

How about you? What's your favorite thing?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And so it begins

I know a lot of us look forward to back to school time so we can go back to what we love - writing. But it hasn't been so easy for me. Both of my boys are now in high school and where we live that means both need a laptop. For the first week of school, the younger one used mine until we figured out that we could rent one at school. Then my older son's computer's hard drive crashed, so he's had to use mine this week. This means I only get writing done at night, but there's another problem. Sports.

And so my year begins. Basketball, volleyball, soccer, piano lessons, church youth group. It's going to be crazy.

That is why I haven't been commenting on blogs, or writing much. I'm having a really hard time figuring out a schedule. But now my son's computer is fixed and I should have mine on my days off work. So I just need to schedule my time better. Let the writing begin again.

So how about you? Are you having a hard time getting back into writing after the summer break?

Monday, September 10, 2012

M.I.A. and playing to your strengths.

Sorry about missing my Friday Favorites post, but I was off for a girls weekend, playing soccer in Whitefish. Fun stuff. A little shopping, a lot of eating, more shopping, and a little soccer.

But all was not lost on the writing front this weekend. I did learn something. After one particular hard game I said to my team mate that we just need to get tougher and she replied, "We've playing this game for years now and we're not going to get any tougher (especially since we're all getting older  and we're quite a small team). We're not a tough team. We need to start playing to our strengths."

That was like a hammer hitting my head. Yes, it's good to try to improve and get out of your comfort zone, but sometimes you just need to figure out what you're good at and play to those strengths.

Now I just need to figure what that is.

On the soccer front - I think I'm good at passing, setting up plays and seeing the field.
What I need to work on - striking and long balls
On the writing front - I think I've got a good imagination and good ideas for stories
What I need to work on - a lot of things

How about you? Have you figured out what you're good at?

Happy Monday.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Well, hello there. How ya been?

I'm back.

August was crazy busy. Working, going on vacation, working some more, trying to relax, getting kids ready for school. The same things everyone else does. It was such a great summer, I'm really sad it's over.

But we did manage to get in our annual family mountain. This year was our tenth anniversary for our mountain climb and we picked a great mountain. It had everything. Walking through a forest, scrambling up scree, navigating around boulders, meandering through a meadow, and a steep climb to the finish, where we were rewarded with a fantastic view.

Out of all the mountains we've done, this has been my favorite and it was also the hardest.

Here's the mountain as we were driving to the trail head.

Here we are almost to the top.

Here we are at the top.

Just goes to show you that there are great rewards for hard work. Something I need to remember in all aspects of my life. I'm excited to be back and I'm looking forward to catching up with all of you.

So how about you? Did you do anything fun this summer?