Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review of 'Passion' by Lauren Kate

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I finally finished editing Wingless, one of my friend's novels. I am pleased with the results, especially since she seems to be happy about them as well. Problem is, now I have all this time on my hands that I don't know what to do with. So, I have been slacking on homework and researching how to promote my own works of art. It doesn't sound as if I am really being modest, but in reality, I totally am. Thing is, I don't even know where to begin!

I've joined all kinds of market places, facebook sites, and signed up for countless accounts across the board. The only true success I have had in really getting any of the avenues I have started up and running in my favor is on a site called Digycat. They feature indie authors which gets the word out there for all to see. It's a great tool to have. Other than that, I have so many things to read, sign up for, create accounts for, and input information that I feel like my head is about to explode. Who knew there was so much information out there!

One thing I am trying to do is link up this blogger account to Amazon. Seems their widgets don't want to work with me today :/ They work for everyone else! These are the hiccups and road blocks that can be truly frustrating and discouraging. Not to mention time consuming. But I am hanging in there. Between editing, writing, hunting and signing up, I am making steady progress toward marketing myself. The only thing I can say that has been truly enjoyable about this whole experience thus far has been meeting some of the great people I have and the amount of info I have gleaned not only from them, but on my own through trial and error. I have to say, my choice to pursue a career in editing is definitely a good road for me because this marketing business is seriously hard to do! It's not for the weak of heart and I would recommend that if anyone out there is thinking of pursuing this avenue, try to find a support team that can back you up and relieve you of some of the burden. I know I could use a helping hand, or two. I won't give up though, not matter how stressful it may be, because, in the long run, I know my efforts will pay off. For what it's worth, to those of you who are reading this, you shouldn't give up either. There are so many out there that have taken the same path and have found, and continue to find, success.

Thank you for reading :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Editing is a labor of love.

I've heard a lot of people say otherwise, but I would have to totally disagree. Yes, it can be a little daunting and a lot like a "job" even if you are just doing it as a side project, but since undertaking a friend's project I have expanded my knowledge of the field tenfold. Okay, not that much, but still. Between researching different techniques and exploring what works best for me, I have not only found how to make the best of it, but I have also benefited my own writing as well. Take for example last night. This is a situation that has plagued me since the beginning, but I have always wondered how in the world the books you get at the stores have such neat margins. Everything is so crisp! Now, I think most of us who write on our PCs and use Microsoft may have noticed that their new and improved version isn't all that user friendly sometimes. At least I have. I've spent hours of my time trying to figure out how to do it until, finally, I began to think, maybe this is just a trick of the trade that professional editors have and I will never be able to achieve myself. But I don't give up that easily. I surfed the web looking for programs and downloads that might solve my problem. I found nothing. Eventually I came to a site that talked about "justifying" your document. Now, once upon a time I knew how to do this. Not so much anymore. Every step I was told to use just didn't apply to my program, until I found the shortcut "Ctrl J". Now my document and any project I undertake looks superbly professional just as I've always dreamed they would. Why does everything have to be so ridiculously difficult and yet so easy!

I have also been writing again. It's been so long I feel like I am reconnecting with an old friend. Now, I think there a couple of reasons why I am feeling motivated again. One, I am curiously without a book to read. Seriously, it's like losing an arm or something. But I have always noticed that my creative mind blossoms when it isn't being shushed by the creative genius of others. Still, it's so much fun! I wish I could do both without the nasty side-effects. Second, I am really enjoying the company of my fellow Book Junkies on Facebook. They are a great team of fellow indie writers that offer great support and suggestions or even just a friendly hello. I am finding that reaching out and making connections can be very rewarding, even if it's just spiritually.

Let's see.....

Ah, yes. I have been expanding my musical selection on and beefing up my iPod like a fiend lately. Usually, I search for musical suggestions in places like where I can see what everyone in my community is listening to, and I tend to get a lot of good stuff. But I always have another source, and that is books. Yes, books. One of my fav authors is J.R. Ward and she is always good for a handful of awesome songs or artists in each of her novels. In her last installment to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series Lover Unleashed (amazing read, btw) she introduced me to Black Veil Brides and Rick Ross. Can I just say, I love that woman. Her mind is a beautiful thing. For all my hardcore musical choices, my new theme (you know, the one that follows you around as you strut your stuff- like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever) is Adele's new song Rolling in the Deep. Now that is something I can jam to while writing, editing, cleaning, what have you. It's just awesome.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Food For Thought

This morning I woke up before the sun. Early bird catches the worm and all that. I hit the mats and did some pilates/yoga shoving my body past the breaking point and into severe pain. I really shouldn't have shredded it with Jillian (Biggest Loser) last night... But with the temperature creeping into the 80s for the first time since I don't even recall when, I couldn't help but be in a state of bliss. Originally, I planned to walk through the park, play with my kids on the swings and gyms, maybe go for a jog, but those plans were dashed when two of my three woke up sick. No matter, retail therapy was next on my list anyway. So, one romance book book later, I was home- not reading. Instead, I decided to clean out the files piling up on my PC. My goal? To start tackling my vast collection of unfinished novels.

I think I've mentioned this before, getting rid of your deformed little love child is not the way to go. For those who don't know me, I am a bit of a pack rat. That holds true even for my laptop. I keep everything. Even the simplest line or chapter or idea. You never know when it might come in handy. Fact is, you wrote it for a reason. So it doesn't work now with this particular story. You may be able to work it in somewhere else down the line. Why am I telling you this again? Ah, yes. Never delete, just shift.

I can't tell you the treasures I found! No, seriously, I can't tell you. You might steal it. Okay, that was harsh, I didn't mean it (I totally did). Anyway. From outlines to chapter starts to endings--even a story I don't remember starting hidden in a "outline" doc. I found a little of everything. I can't believe it! So, back to the no deleting just shifting...

Apparently, somewhere along the line as I was writing a story (way way back when) I had "deleted" and entire ending, not confident enough in the ending created to keep it, but not entirely convinced that it should be scrapped either. I decided, enough is enough with this not finishing what I started, I'm starting to feel like I'm neglecting my children here! So, I opened that sucker up and got to working on the who, what, when, where, why's of it all and discovered, this ending works. What was I thinking! I smooshed those docs back together better than all the kings men put together and voila! story complete. Maybe. That depends on if I want it to be done. Which I do. Either way, I am feeling accomplished tonight and pretty darn justified in my pack rat ways.

Sometimes, all you need is some distance to see the full picture. I get discouraged just like everybody else and I get down on myself and doubt my own abilities often. What matters is that I never give up on myself. I may put some distance between me and my projects from time to time, yes, but I always come back stronger than the last. I try to bring new things, new experiences and knowledge to the table and become better with age, like a fine wine. All I can say is, never give up and always have confidence in your abilities. And when you find yourself lacking, give yourself the time to discover how wrong you were. You are better and more capable than you give yourself credit for. And most importantly, don't get rid of anything! That's your creative genius you were thinking about throwing away. Embrace it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Catching Up

Wow! It's been a week since I last blogged. And what a week it has been. Let's get caught up, shall we?

Starting with classes:
Monday marked the last day of Literature (A.K.A. the "D" class). I must say, it was a real struggle to get through that one. Particularly since I am not one of those people who think out of the box too well. I prefer those black and white, no shades of gray situations. So, needless to say, in a class where everything revolves around analysis and critical thinking- looking for that hidden meaning- I had my work cut out for me. I had my support group in place, however. A group of lovely ladies with which I chatted away, ranting about our grievances 'n' such. All in all, it turned out to be a great experience. One in which I got an A thank you very much. My only concern is that I now owe my first born to Google, or at the very least, a bucket of my blood. I bow to that entity and it's vast cache of knowledge.

Next up on my list of wonderful and exciting news: I got my first editing gig! A dear friend of mine, who just so happens to be a prolific writer, gave me the go ahead to edit a series she has been working on. Every evening I carve out a couple of hours to sit down and comb through her work of art. It's quite an experience I must say. One that only solidifies my decision to become an editor. Truly, this is the place I was meant to be. Now, applying my admittedly limited knowledge of graphic art apps and love of all things creative, I also took a leap and redesigned a few key elements in the opening of her book. I submitted the changes to her last night, crossing fingers and toes that she would love them as much as I did, and was relieved to find that she loved them, to which she told me she has the utmost trust in me to do my thing and make her already fantastic story into a polished masterpiece. I can't describe the feeling that comes with the opportunity to help out a friend, apply your own growing knowledge to a field you love, and getting such high praise. So, in an effort to express this feeling, I quote the infamous Jack Dawson, "I'm the king of the world!" Of course, I'd have to change that to queen, but you get the idea.

On the home front, my daughter's doctor told me this morning that she is growing like a weed. She far exceeds almost every other kid in her age group in height and weight. "Tall" as he put it. Apparently she is in the ninety-seventh percentile. Now, for those of you who don't know what that means: Ninety- seventh percentile simply means that only three percent of all children in her age group are bigger than her. This puts her at an estimated 5'8" as an adult. Why is that so great you might ask. Well, coming from someone who is the tallest in her family and a staggering 5'5" yet a veritable midget next to her all of her friends and extended family, it had always been a dream of mine to be taller. Now, I can live vicariously through my daughter! Height is always a coveted attribute when you are wedged into the middle of both extremes. So, as I head into those dreaded 30's and unlikely to have another growth spurt any time soon, I have to be content with adding a set of sexy pumps to make these stumpy legs appear longer. At least my daughter won't need to do that.

Last, but not least: I was lured into a writing group called Book Junkies, on Facebook. Now, I haven't been there long, but I have to say, these people are freakishly nice! I've never met so many people in one place that are so warm and welcoming. It's not a click or some haughty taughty group who thinks everyone there should worship them. No, instead, this group is about the closest thing you can get to a family on a community website. Needless to say, I am glad I joined. Time will tell if it is anything but what I have described, but I am fairly certain it is as awesome as I think it is.

All in all, it's been a good week.

Friday, April 1, 2011

As It Stands Today

Good day :)

Today I decided to jump start my new class: business. So far, it's pretty okay. I think I will learn a lot for that inevitable day when I am released upon the world *evil laughter*. I don't think I will ever get into management, per say, though. Although, I do like the idea of power and wielding said power over my own personal set of minions. Hmm. Well, we'll just have to wait and see what happens there, now won't we?

Aside from school, I think I have a new idea that will further a story I started months ago, but got roadblocked and never finished. Sometimes, all it takes is a little (or a lot) of brainstorming to make the brain kick into gear and pull out the big guns. Hopefully, it will pan out and I can further my creation, though even I don't know what it will be yet.

I also made a decision that has been plaguing me for about a week now, and on and off for a couple of years. I don't want to pursue publishing my stories. Yes, I think they are good and I really enjoy hearing how much others like my work, but I just don't think that avenue is for me. That doesn't mean I won't make them available in print or Kindle or whatever, but I just don't plan to promote away. The stress isn't worth it, especially when it takes me away from writing and the joy of the whole creative process. For now, I am just content to watch my best gal pal chase her dream and chant her name from the finish line--which I know she will cross.

Yes, editing is where it is for me. I love the idea of reading so much, I want to do it for a living. I want people to come to me with their hopes and dreams and I want to see their faces when I tell them they really have something here, and I want it. I've heard so many writers say they hate reviewing their own work, to look for and fix those little errors. But, for me, that's the most enjoyable part. I may not know all, because there is so much yet to learn, but I plan to be the best of the best (at least that's the plan, anyway).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Let The Writting Commence!

So, as my friends already know, for the last five weeks I have been buried under mounds of essay writing and enough literary analysis to make you puke. Today, I am proud to say, I not only see the light at the end of the tunnel, I have dug my way free and clear. What does this mean? Why, I now have two glorious days with which to write, silly!

Now, don't take that too literally. I am known to shuffle my feet when I am anything less than inspired. But, sometimes, it is necessary to dive into that murky water in order to find something so elusive as inspiration--the little devil. Last night I sat down and had a long heart to heart with myself. I took a step back and looked at all my started, but never finished, projects and decided on one that called out to me. I reread what I have and was pretty proud of myself I must say. Not too shabby. Thing is, I have to force an outline because I'm tired of getting bogged down by the now what's. This is is going to be difficult since I am a fly by your seat kind of girl. I often don't know what I am writing until I sit down to write it. It's kind of a wonder I have ever finished anything really.

So, that's my plan. Sit down, create some super disorganized, severely marked-up plan, then start writing. I'm hoping to get at least two good pages out of this tonight. Hopefully. Somewhere in between this time I have to find a place to carve out mommy time, slip into my exercise guru persona so I can sweat it out to the oldies, and tend to my wifely duties (i.e. movie night!). As you might imagine, it can be pretty difficult to locate anything remotely inspirational let alone have a fully functional focused mind amid all the chaos. So, wish me luck as I venture into uncharted territory tonight.

Let Operation: Let The Writing Commence, commence........................NOW!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I spent my morning talking with a dear friend. Like always, as we exchanged pleasantries, we got into our talks of writing, domination. We decided, wouldn't it be great if we took the best of our creative genius--her wicked sense of humor and gift of gab and my, well, organized state of mind--and pooled our resources to created mind-blowing works of art? I mean, the kind where some poor sap walks into a book store, sees this beautiful, unassuming cover, smiles, scoops it up and cracks it open and immediately turns pale but he's so hooked already he can't put it down, even if it's to his detriment. Obviously, we have no business marketing to the little tikes perusing the kiddie section.

So, after much discussion, we decide, let's write a children's book!
Needless to say, I can't wait to get started. I mean, I've always wanted to be responsible for shaping the world's future leaders. What better way to do it. Besides, what harm could it do. I've seen this generation of malefactors, I honestly don't think our little bit of mental warping is going be the straw that breaks the camel's back or anything. And really, how much harm can we do, after all we've already survived the Bush Administration (Burn! haha!).

So, back to the kiddies.
This is going to be so much fun! Already my mind is teaming with ideas. We've already decided that our very own children will be the test subjects in this little experiment. Because, as any self--respecting "scientist" knows, you have crack a few eggs to make an omelet. That said, I'm off to check my formulations and hit the drawing boards. Have a beautiful day all!


Another One Bites The Dust

Look to the right of the screen. What do you see? A ridiculously gorgeous girl, I know. But what you don't see lurking beneath that deceptively angelic exterior is a fiendish devourer of books. Day after day, week after week, that girl ruthlessly plows through books with an appetite that is no less than voracious. Why am I telling you this you might ask. Well, that's because this girl has found yet another wonderful read that has widened her eyes, her views, and her imagination.

Quite often (about twice a week) I pick up a book and allow myself to get swept away in a world of romance and fantasy. I often pause to ponder what about this one is capturing my attention? What is it that makes this one so special? The answer is, I don't know! It just has that voice, that unique quality that pulls at the strings of my imagination and makes me say, maybe I can write like that. And so, I do. Or at least I try. This is what I am always talking about, for hours on end, about challenging yourself. You will never know what you are capable of if you always stick with the tried and true. You have to expand. Try a different P.O.V., a new technique, a new "voice". Don't be afraid of failure. Honestly, what's the worst that can happen? You realize it stinks and scrap it? Now, to a writer, throwing that love child, no matter how deformed, away may be like cutting off your own arm. I know, but that's what file folders are for! It can sit there, hidden in the cobwebbed attic of your PC, indefinitely, or until you find a use for it. Either way, you tried, right? And now you are better for it.

So, this book that has me feeling so inspired....
Like most books I read (really, I don't seek them out, they find me. Honest!) this one is a vampire novel. Written by Mari Mancussi, Night School had me from its opening line. I realized almost right away that it was the second (at least) in the series, and, normally I would stop there and wait until I could go back and read the first, but that made absolutely no difference in this case. I couldn't put it down! It's a first--person with a deliciously wacky sense of humor. It takes stabs at Twilight (gasp!) and references some pretty famous people in history, rewriting everything we were taught in a fantastic way. The plot is simple enough, but who said a book had to be a brain teaser in order to be good. Point is, with each book I pick up, I take notes. I try to see how it works, why it works, and so on. I try to learn from it and apply that knowledge so I can shape my own voice in my work.

With all that said, I am going to spend the remainder of my morning finishing this book off, ruthlessly!


Monday, March 28, 2011


Lately I've been working on getting my story "Faerie Tales: Misfortune of a Teenage Socialite" transferred onto Kindle. It's hard work! Juggling school and family life with the extras like writing and promoting. Thankfully I am a very detail oriented person. The bad thing is I am a bit of a perfectionist. I can't count how many times I've made changes and set myself back another hour, day, week, but I finally blundered my way through it and have it available on Amazon. For now, I wait for my hard work to pay off.

The nice thing about promoting: it gives me a break from the stress of writing. Now, some people scoff at that idea. "Stress! What is she talking about?" I assure you, writing is stressful. Or maybe it's just me. Coming up with an idea is as easy as breathing. It's executing that idea, coming up with the characters, the right names, places, and descriptions, not sounding redundant, making it flow as smoothly on "paper" as my mind sees it without leaving something out in the process of getting it right. And, even now this proves true, keeping my mind focused while my kids scream like banshees and tear apart the house. These are the things that make writing stressful.

In the end, I can't stress how important it is to have support from friends and family. Especially those who share in your passion. When you feel like you've hit a road block, like I often do, those people prove invaluable. Even now, I jump on Facebook and connect with a couple of gals who rock my world with amazing ideas and hysterical commentary until my mind is so full of stuff that I can't help but write. It's truly a blessing. 

Fool Proof Plan For Survival

So my gal pal says, why don't we blog together? She throws out ideas. I pick this one. Why? I say, why not! Everyone needs to know what to do if their neighbor shows up that their door looking to borrow more than a cup of sugar. So here's the plan should the proverbial shit hit the fan.

First, scream. Followed quickly by grabbing all essential items.

1. Backpack- You have to have something to carry it all in!
2. Books- For those lonely night on the run.
3. Matches- I'm no girl scout.
4. Ipod- Theme music for when I'm bashing heads.
5. Full body chain mail suit- I'd like to see them bite through that!
6. Titanium baseball bat- Beats running out of ammo.
7. A can of hairspray and a lighter- For the times when distance is essential.

Now that I have everything, it's time to head out. In this case, I've heard Walmart is a good place to hole up. I choose to hoof it because zombies like shiny things that go vroom! On the way, I pick up a couple friends and a few stragglers-- this is important as you will need some sacrificial lambs if you want to survive.Of course some of these people don't adhere to my warning to stay calm and be quiet, thus calling immediate attention to our group. As leader, I am forced to debilitate them and yell, "Run!" guiding my remaining team to safety. Once at Walmart, I create a rag tag team of misfit warriors. We gather all manner of weaponry available in Hunter's Corner and take to the roof where we proceed to pick off those mindless freaks and save the world...or the greater part of Northwest Ohio as it were.

Now, I'm sure this isn't your typical blog by any means, but zombies is an important topic. With the nuclear reactors melting down in Japan and what not, it's totally feasible that the soldiers in Afghanistan could mutate into flesh eating monsters is it not? And if you've ever seen that old zombie flick with the zombie shark, you know that this condition is sure to spread, and fast. The only question left is, will you survive?
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