Friday, January 28, 2011

Blog Showcase: Pub Rants

Pub Rants by Agent Kristin

I decided to showcase this blog rather than just add it to my blog list because Agent Kristin has so much info on here!  
Agent Kristin has tons and tons of links---I could spend days going through her blog!  She has links for agents who blog, clients who blog, a whole list of real queries that some of her authors used, as well as a query pitch workshop on the blog.  Very interesting and cool stuff!  I'll be keeping her link under Literary Agents I think (I cannot decide!) so if you don't bookmark her yourself, you can find her there. 

Today's Mama: Why Celebrating Valentine's Day is a GOOD Idea!

I have a new post about the importance of Valentine's Day on Today's Mama.
Go.  Read.  Enjoy! :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Prompt: If you could change anything about your pet....

 If you could change anything about your pet, what would it be?
I would make my cat a dog.  A dog that is housebroken, doesn’t shed and is barkless. 
My cat was adorable when we first got him.  He nibbled on my coat zipper as I gazed into his amber eyes and that was it. 
“We’re getting this one,” I told my husband. 
He slept with me every night until I booted him at the ripe old age of 7 in favor of our firstborn child.  I didn’t want cat hair on the sheets because of course, he used to paw at the blankets until I lifted them, half-asleep, for him to crawl under.  I didn’t want to be worried about kitty litter remnants or anything (which strangely, I hadn’t thought of prior to having a child….ew.) 
Then he began eating an enormous amount of food.  Maybe he was depressed because he wasn’t sleeping in our bed anymore or maybe he had post partum after I brought the baby home.  Who knows.  He became a giant cat.  Every single person that came into our home immediately said the exact same thing: Wow!  That is a huge/fat cat!  Due to his inordinate weight gain, he ceased to groom himself properly.  Why our second cat also ceased to groom him will forever remain a mystery….because I don’t speak cat.  But speaking from a common sense viewpoint, I’d say it was because he was gross. 
He was always a talkative cat, but now, he whines.  Incessantly.  At all hours of the day and night.  I started out startled and curious (around 1am) and annoyed (by 2am) followed by terribly cross and cursing (struggling at 4am).  Finally, I found myself wanting to do him harm in a really violent way (around about sunrise).  At first, I wanted to find out what the problem was; generally when he meowed, he wanted or needed something.  Maybe his food bowls were half empty or maybe the dog’s water bowl was empty (yea, he would cry if the DOG’s water bowl was empty, even when the cat’s water bowl in the next room was full!!).  Lately, he seems to be irritated that we turn off the gas fireplace at night!  Apparently, his fat came with a side of diva! 
At this point, my love has turned to….well, not hate exactly but more of a deep abiding disrespect. 
I will never again get a cat.   

Staying Inspired & Beating Writer's Block

I have never had writers block.

No, really.

I keep a notebook of running ideas.  If my flow dries up on one and I feel sick of it, I move on to another idea or blog for a bit! lol  (yes, that's what I'm doing right now!! lol)

The other thing I have found, for anything I want to do well (including being more at peace and a little less crazy as a working mom as well as parenting), I have to read something about it every day.  I know that's a lot, but it works!  It keeps ideas fresh in your mind.  If you read a little about parenting techniques every day, you'd have that fresh in your mind.  You'd be reminded to stay on track.  The same thing applies to writing and  growing as a person.

I read from a variety of sources for writing, but right now primarily from :

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp
The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass
The Newbie's Guide to Publishing by Joe Konrath

All of these are in my carousel on my main page too, so you can see the covers. (visuals are good!)
Every time I pause to read a chapter (while eating, waiting for my tea water to boil, in the bathroom....) I feel like running to my keyboard or grabbing up my notebook and jotting down ideas.  Works every time.  Even if you only have 3-5 minutes, it helps.  It reminds you that you are a writer and what you're supposed to love doing.  I also read these while on the stationary bike (can you tell I am not a time-waster?? lol I do double-duty and multi-task whenever I can as I'm sure all working moms do!!).

My personal read every morning is
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach 

She always makes me feel better about myself! lol I have read this off and on for years but 2011 is my second consecutive year of reading it---there was no putting it aside at the end of 2010, I had too much going on and felt like I managed better when I had a bit of advice every day.  One thing that both Sarah Ban Breathnach and Julia Cameron of The Artist's Way fame have in common is that they both suggest writing as a brain drain every day (or as frequently as possible; Sarah is a little more sympathetic here!)

For 2011, I think I will re-institute this idea.  I have so much going on, it can only help!!

What's your inspiration?  How do you beat writer's block?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Writing Prompts

I signed up for The Writer's Workshop over at the blog Mama's Losin' It.  She has you write to a prompt, post it on your own blog and then link back to her site.  Click on either link (one goes right to the workshop page, the other to Mama Kat's home page) to get the info and directions.

I highly suggest signing up for the email reminders because I personally find that the prompts for the week, that you can link back to her site with, are NOT easy to locate.  She has general writing prompts up, but they are not the same ones I got in the official weekly email.  Just a thought! ;)

Please note that down on the right, there is a link for this workshop also, under Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

Copyright Info

I have altered what I "borrowed" from Jane Friedman's blog and researched and expanded on the copyright information in the page link above. 

I'm not in trouble, I'm just being cautious! ;)

A Writer's Digest Conference Re-Cap

My friend from high school, Erika Robuck, is now a published author, working on her second book.  She recently attended a conference put together by Writer's Digest, where she was able to pitch her book to agents.  She re-capped her visit for Jane Friedman (former editor for Writer's Digest and currently a contributing editor for WD and a visiting professor of e-media at the University of Cincinnati) over on her blog, which is part of the Writer's Digest website, called There Are No Rules.  Here is an excerpt and you can read the rest over on the original site, how's that? lol

From the blog There Are No Rules, guest blogger Erika Robuck about the Writer's Digest Conference:

[Jane's intro:]
"The following guest post is by writer Erika Robuck, who attended the Writer's Digest Conference on Saturday and generously offered to recap the sessions she attended.

'The business of writing is the business of reading.'
—Richard Nash

These words from Richard Nash’s keynote address have been sitting in a quiet space in my writer’s heart since I heard them.

They seem so simple, but the meaning is profound. If I think about what reading is—the intimacy of the act of bringing someone else’s words, thoughts, and imaginings into my brain, often while I’m in bed; if I reflect on the weight of that as a writer and apply it to all areas of the publication process (from words on the page, to editing, to marketing, etc.)—I can transform the entire experience into something I’m eager to do, every step of the way. "

Please head on over to There Are No Rules to read the complete story!
Thanks Erika! (you know, ahead of time!)

Story Start

Here is my new beginning to my novel:

Melkiand examined the new planet from the safety of the portal. It was hard to tell if it was suitable through the haze of blue light, so he stepped out.

“Hiunte,” he said. The blue square of light sizzled shut.

Melkiand surveyed the area through smoky gray lenses. He glanced down at his handheld. The UVA/UVB rays were low here; low enough for him to remove his goggles. He folded his handheld in half and slipped it into a pocket which sealed itself. He reached up for his goggles just as a large shadow sped out the trees to his right. His upright arms blocked a razor-sharp beak from having a clear shot at his face. As it was, the bird’s eight foot tall head was on par with his own, making it difficult to dodge its thrusting beak. Melkiand stumbled backwards with one arm up, the other trying to unseal individual pockets in search of his weapons.

The bird was shrieking in a high-pitched cry that echoed around the clearing, making Melkiand’s head reverberate. He was abruptly struck in the back by a tree. He stopped fumbling with his cloak long enough to crouch and rolled out between the bird’s long spindly legs.

Upon standing, he hit the release patch on his cloak’s left shoulder, opening all pockets. The bird had whipped around and there was hunger in its eyes. It shrieked again, flapping its absurdly small wings.

Melkiand located his two staffs, pulling them out and snapping his wrists so that they telescoped from six inches to eighteen. The bird shrieked, its “S” shaped neck undulating as its talons clawed the ground, raking up great tufts of earth. Melkiand pressed a release and cords shot out of the ends of the staffs, turning them into two long whips. He cracked the right one at the bird, catching it around the neck. With a grunt, he pulled the whip out to the right, sending the black bird flying across the clearing. It smashed head first into a tree with a crack. It crumpled to the ground in a heap of glossy black feathers.

Melkiand flicked his wrists backwards, causing the whips to retract. He flicked them once more to make them pocket-sized. This time, he kept one in his hand and the other in an interior pocket close to his chest. He approached the dead animal with caution, knowing from experience that creatures on different planets didn’t necessarily die as one might think.

Melkiand nudged it with the toe of his boot, but there was no response. He was pretty sure the sound he heard was the bird’s neck breaking. He crouched to examine it closer. Using his staff to lift the head he examined the beak and how its edges were like the blade of a knife. Perhaps that could be used as a tool, he mused.

Melkiand stood and pulled his handheld out again. He typed in some notes relating to the size, strength and speed of the bird, as well as possible uses of the animal’s various parts. The handheld disappeared back into his pocketed cloak before he headed off into the trees, a little more alert.


I am a little nervous, but I have 11 months to get used to the idea:  I have joined NaNoWriMo. 

Actually, once I joined and realized I should've done it sooner, I thought, "Well, that's ok, I am going to aim to finish my first book soon and use November 2011 for writing my SECOND book in this proposed series! Or heck, the first book in one of the other series I have in mind!"  :) 

So there, NaNoWriMo!

Heeeere we GO!

Alright, I'm getting ready to post this to Twitter! :) Hope this generates some interest!  I am so excited to be all organized and to show everyone some of the cool writing things I have found along the way. 

Suggestions are welcome, for improvements or site additions (links and the like!).

I will be adding on--I don't have all my authors' sites up yet, for example and I may add a list of artists' links too.

Thanks for you interest, check back often! :)

Monday, January 24, 2011


Hello all!
So I've splintered off here and created a blog just for all the writing and author and artist sites I have come across.  I am still not finished.  I like to keep things neat and organized, so I think I'm going to get rid of my blogroll over there and classify all websites and blogs according to the headings I've created (i.e. Author Sites, References and then one for Artists). 

I've just found that I have soooo many resources and so many cool authors and other people with lots of great advice, I wanted to share it.  But it didn't seem appropriate on LaLa Land, so here I am!

Feedback is greatly appreciated! Comment away! :)


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