Saturday, October 29, 2011

Beautiful Blog Award!

Okay, I'm prettyyyy busy with an Art History exam that might just kill me! So, I haven't stuck to my schedule and decided I may not ever stick to it again, LOL.

Okay, now I have received a beautiful blog award from Elizabeth Vardan at Elizabeth Varadan's Fourth Wish and from Eve E over at CluelessEve. Both wonderful, wonderful blogs!

Gosh, it's just soooo pretty!

Okay, so the requirements are:
1. Thank the peeps who gifted the award! :D
2. Gift the award to 15 recently discovered bloggers!

The Written Word 
All About Growing Up and Becoming a Famous Author
Conceive Writing
Have You Heard
Spoiled Much
Something To Write About
Scribbles N Jots
Inner Owlet
Overdue
Life. Unordinary
I Take the Pen
Treasure Hunting Through Young Adult Fiction
Writer's Ramblings
Cold As Heaven
Write On!

WOW! Okay, that was lovely. <3

Now. I also received another blog award:


This is from Krista over at I Take the Pen! Thank you very much! And make sure you check out her wonderful blog! I always enjoy heading over there!

Okay...well, I'm supposed to say 7 things about myself and nominate 15 people for this blog. Well, the 15 people I just mentioned are so awesome, they deserve this award too, so all you guys get this one too! Except, of course, Krista, who I tagged in the previous award. :D

So...we all know I'm not keen on 7 things about myself so I'll tell you 7 things about my boyfriend.


1. That's shaving cream on his face. Yes, I did it. lol.
2. He knows sign language and Spanish.
3. His parents are deaf.
4. He is Peruvian and Cuban
5. He has been to Paris, Italy, Peru, Germany...and a lot of other places. lol.
6. He likes Hip Hop.
7. If he were any more laid back, he'd be dead.

<3 To you all!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Writer Resources



 OVERDUE came up with a great idea! List 3 writer resources and tag a few more writers so they can share theirs.

Well, I must confess...I'm not one who actually searches for a lot of writing resources. What I do is research writers, figure out how they write, how they got published, their struggles. I research agents and figure out their tips for writers, they are, after all, who we depend on for a book deal. So, these are the blogs I constantly read:

Kristin Nelson's Blog: Pub Rants

This is Kristin Nelson's blog. She is a literary agent over at Nelson Literary Agency, LLC.
What I find most helpful about her blog: She uses real examples of query letters and then explains why they were good letters. Now, a lot of people do this, but hers were the first I found and I actually used this post http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2007/10/blog-pitch-workshop-part-i.html on her Blog Pitch Workshop so I could figure out how to begin writing a query.

Nathan Bransford
Nathan Bransford was a Literary Agent at Curtis Brown LLC, but now he's an author! And man...he has so many resources. What I especially like are his posts over self-publishing. He has a list of PUBLISHING ESSENTIALS, among my favorite posts are:
How to Write a Synopsis
10 Commandments for the Happy Writer
Book Publishing Glossary
Writing Advice Database

Last and surely not least is any type of author site. Here are a few I have read bios of and found just by stumbling around:
http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com/
http://www.mandyhubbard.com/
http://www.jkrowling.com/
http://www.neilgaiman.com/
http://mariavsnyder.com/

SO why do I look at author sites? Well, I want to know how long it took them to get published. What it took, what is their advice to us? I need to know these things. I need to know that Neil Gaiman was rejected a million times before he was published because that makes me strive harder to have a pile or rejections because maybe, at some point, I'll be published too. These give you hope. And they also help with write resources and advice.

I'd like to tag 3 people to share their resources:

A.M. Supinger
Cherie
Anita Howard

<3

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Guest Post: Derek Flynn!

When Ashley asked me to write a guest post, I was trying to figure out what I’d write about. I wanted to do something a little different, something fun. As luck would have it, we were chatting one day about movie soundtracks. So, as it happens, I write music as well. Usually rock stuff, but I’ve also written instrumental music for a few short films and ads, and so forth. In the course of the conversation, Ashley asked me if I had anything that would suit pirates.

Ping. Lightbulb moment.

I thought, wouldn’t that be a good idea for a guest post? What if I put up a couple of pieces of instrumental music and the readers of Ashley’s blog get to choose which piece they think is the best piece to be the soundtrack to her book Cutlass: Book One of the Pirate's Cutlass Trilogy.

Now, bear in mind, neither of the following pieces were written specifically for Cutlass, so what Ashley and I want you to do is tell us which piece of music you think is best suited to a book about pirates!

So, without further ado, this is “Piece No. 1”:


And “Piece No. 2”:


So, what do you think? Which piece of music best suits action and adventure with pirates on the high seas? Vote for your favourite in the comments below!

Blog: http://derekflynn.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/derekf03

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shirts! Whoo!

Sorry guys, this week's been busy! But hopefully I'll have some stuff for you next week! (After this crazy Art History exam). I wanted to show you the shirts I made for my books. Now...I know I'm not published...but I still LOVE this! We're just experimenting right now, but so far we have this:


Yes, we ate chocolate everything while doing this. Now, I made a homemade screen print with tulle, a needlework ring, and mod podge. I think it worked well!

What do you guys think?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Writer Cherie on...Writing!

Before I cringe and hide myself, I want to say thanks to Ashley for letting me babble about myself. I normally cower behind the sofa when someone asks me for an interview because really, I’m no big celebrity. But Ashley is my dear, sweet friend—plus, she asked so nicely, I couldn’t say no. ;)
So here we are. Hopefully you’ll find something useful here.

What's your writing space look like? Where do you like to be most when you're writing?
This is where the magic happens. (Ha! Couldn’t resist. J )



When I’m not home, I carry a notebook with me. I have a small one (blue one in pic) that I stick in my purse. I wrote my short story, Want, in that notebook (because I was stuck somewhere else and needed to write it down ASAP), and later transcribed it into Word doc when I got home. The green notebook contains scribbles of ideas and outlines and character names. The big black notebook also has outlines and whatnot, but I use it to jot down research material (more space, see?). This is probably why I have carpal tunnel syndrome. Hehe.

How do you come up with ideas for your novels?
Uh, tough Q. Let’s see…I don’t have a definitive answer. One time, I wrote a short story because of a picture prompt. I’m a very visual person, so I guess you can say I get inspiration from things, people, places I see.  Art, for instance, is a wonderful source of ideas. Sometimes, dreams come into play when they trigger a certain feeling or emotion. At other times, memories. I take an incident and twist it around until it resembles something worthy of a story.
I’m also very impressionable—yes, even at my age. LOL! I read a lot. Books and stories and characters inspire me to create. But 90% of the time, I simply stare at the white screen on my monitor, and words would come together in my mind, even when I have no idea what they’re about. True pantsing. I love it when this happens.

If you're having trouble writing, what do you do to get over the writer's block?
I take a break. Usually to draw or make sketches. Or, I read books, though I’m careful not to read too much because I don’t want to unintentionally inundate myself with the author’s voice and story.
I did find that when I’m under pressure to finish because of a goal or a deadline, I would force myself through the block until my head hurts. (Is that masochistic? Hm. It works, though.) Write, write, and write some more until the muse comes back.

What's your best editing tip?
I’m no expert at editing. I’m good at proofreading, however, since my HS school paper days. J I have a knack for spotting typos and punctuation woes in other people’s work. Not so much with my own. LOL! My writer friends gave me wonderful editing tips here.

What do you hope, at the end of the day, you and others take from your novels?
I’m no Socrates, so I only aim to please and entertain. J If my stories make someone smile or be sad or feel anything, then I’m good with that. If it makes them think, that’s even better.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Truths of Editing


I have been delving into that thing called editing again. Every time I think I've accomplished the feat of finally FINISHING my book, I realize I haven't. That's always depressing. And then I run out of time to actually look at my book because life gets in the way. Ah, if only I could JUST be a writer for once in my life and nothing else!

Well, sadly, that won't happen for a while, so until then...I'll just push time and life aside at points to edit my books...and drink lots of coffee...hence the picture. (Speaking of that picture--it's called 'Coffee Art' isn't that cool!?)

Now, I am going to list what I've found to be true of my editing process.

1. It really is never over.

I know. I still can't come to terms with this one. At points I really believed there would be no retouching of the book, but it's obsessive and I can't stop myself. It's like...a really shiny object. You just have to mess with it.

2. You can over-edit.


Yep...I've done this...I've over-edited relationships, over-simplified scenes. The hard part is realizing you've done this, especially if your word count (as you might recall mine was) wayyyy too high! Of course, this is a simple fix...you just write more in the places where you deleted it, BUT don't forget to reread what you just wrote...chances are you left out a word. ;)

3. Grammar really isn't everything.


For me, anyways and I'll tell you why--I am an English Major and a writer, so everyone expects greatness when I write a novel. But I'm not amazing at editing and I know that. I really am not a great speller. I'm not always sure why I put commas in random places (really, I don't know), sometimes I really hope I can use a semi-colon there and a colon here. In other words, I'm not great with the rules of grammar. For me what matters is the plot, the development of the characters...is your story really there? If it isn't...well, you have a different problem. Now, I'm not saying ignore it! Please don't ignore it, but don't let it get you down--if all else fails, ask someone else to check your grammar, especially if you (like me) aren't great at rules. lol.

4. If you feel like something isn't working then it isn't.
I felt this way about my first 5 chapters for a long time, but I had a problem: I just didn't know how to fix it! So, instead...I just waited this out and figured sooner or later, I'd come up with something I felt great about and it happened. Which leads me too....

5. Editing takes time.

I complained once that I had sat before my computer for TWO HOURS and had only edited about 2 pages or so...but editing takes time. It isn't going to be finished overnight (no matter how much we wish). Thing about it is, to be good editors, we have to take breaks. If we stare at manuscript forever...well, we're going to stop seeing the mistakes. And if it takes us a few hours to get through a couple of pages, well, I bet those are some pretty polished pages. Wow...all that alliteration!

So....I have learned these things. I don't think I'll ever be a GOOD editor. I'm very impatient...and I tend to forget things take times. Also, I'm editing a novel I wrote in the ninth grade (High School). It has changed so much. A part of me wants to open a new document completely and just redo everything, but then...I love what I have too much, and I don't think it's in need of a rewrite that huge. It's not really in need of a rewrite, but definitely tweaking. lol.

Happy Writing/Editing!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Writers: multimillionaires...but not really.

I've been looking this up...just cause I am planning on going to Graduate School for a degree in Library Science and Information Technology, but also, I want to be a writer. The safe plan is to have a backup plan just in case your novel isn't 'New York Times Bestseller Material'.

Well, let's just say, that's been on my list of goals for a while....right underneath getting published. Which hasn't happened.

I'm still hopeful though. And sadly enough, many will very nearly try and dissuade you from writing because it doesn't 'bring in the money'...although, that's not why we write, is it? If we were out to make money off writing, well...we'd definitely find something else.


First and foremost, you should know that contrary to popular belief, all authors are notmultimillionaires! In fact, the percentage of authors who earn their livings solely from their writing careers --- much less make huge amounts of money at it --- is exceedingly small. --Rebecca Brandewyne


We're self-employed. Isn't that insane? I think it's insane since I've never actually thought about the difficulties involved in being a writer, but I have thought of the difficulties involved in being self-employed. I've always thought that was crazy. We don't have benefits...or anything, we have...well, we have writing.

I have never thought of writers being multimillionaires, although I knew J.K. Rowling was...but the point is, they didn't set out to be millionaires, they just had a story in their head and when the public liked it, they were thrown into a surreal world where writers really are millionaires.

I've had to learn a lot about my writing along the way, the most important of those was why I was writing. I learned that it was a passion, something that when absent in my life, is heartbreaking...it's a void. I have to write to escape a world that gives me stress daily. Then I had to learn money was not everything. Having to work, work, work....and go to school...and be stress, and mentally and physically exhausted and then not be able to write, and attempt to balance everything...Yeah...learned it really wasn't the root of happiness. No happiness came from all the stress I had from working for money that merely....disappeared.

Writing gave me that happiness.

So, when people tell me I shouldn't be a writer because there is no money in it...Well, I'm not writing for  money.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Character Interview! :D

Interview with my Cove Rowell. :) YAYAY!!!



Cove is the Ambassador of Arcarum, but in his spare time he likes to play traitor and sail around as a pirate. Yep. He's crazy. He gets away with it though...it's the eyes. ;) 

Me: Okay, Ambassador, let's start with the basics. You're a pirate but you're also the Ambassador of Arcarum. You're a walking contradition! You can't do that!

Cove: Contraditions exist, therefore I can be.

Me: *stares meancingly* What I mean is...how did you get invovled in both occupations?

Cove: I was born into them really. I was young when I dicovered my father was both Ambassador and a pirate. For a long time he represented something very corrupt to me and I fell into his same ideas--representing all that way hated of pirates. One day, though, I grew up...I guess and realized my decisions weren't actually mine. They had been my father's...but I didn't want to reprsent what he had...so I changed my definition of what a pirate was.

Me: You didn't feel that the damage was already done? You had murdered people by this point.

Cove: I do not ask for forgiveness. I know my mistakes and live them everyday. All I can do now, however, is live for my future.

Me: What is this definition of piracy you've taken on?

Cove: Well...it's a deep feeling. A connection with the sea. We are bound to her will...she will designate why we sail...when we sail. Everything.

Me: She?

Cove: The Orient.

Me: I see...let's go back to your definition of piracy. If you have a connection with the sea, then you'd merely be a sailor.

Cove: In terms of what we do at sea, I am still considered a pirate--we fight a war against privateers.

Me: Now, these are men hired by the government to sort of...lure pirates.

Cove: Yes, the idea is if you infiltrate the sea with privateers, you have an army that can fight against the pirates. In reality, the privateers become just as corrupt as pirates, more so, in fact. Acts committed by privateers are blamed on pirates--there is no justice. That's where me and my crew come in. In this way, we're still committing illegal acts against the government and therefore, we are pirates.

Me: How do you manage all of this and still remaind Ambassador of Arcarum?

Cove: Parts of my crew do not have to present all the time--two inparticular act as my spies. I would tell you who they were, but that's not helping me very much. As for my job...well, my job allows perfectly for my second occupation--I'm required to travel.

Me: But...you're also required to keep peace.

Cove: And I do, the quarrels I have with other governments are no worse than they were when my father was alive. And despite their suspicion...many people are afraid to provoke me.

Me: ...can I ask why?

Cove: Well, for a number of reasons: I make sure those governments recieve our aid--both financially and militarily. I am also very well liked by the population. Get rid of me, you have a very unhappy population...my enemies aren't prepared to deal with hostility.

Me: Wow. My mind is blown. What does your wife think of this?

Cove: She...does not consider herself an Ambassador's wife, but a pirate's wife so you tell me.

Me: Very nice, thank you, Cove Rowell!


LOL. I hope you guys enjoyed that! I have sincere respect for Cove Rowell and I am SO happy he lives in my head. lol

Monday, October 3, 2011

Inspiration Mondays: Books

I'm working out the kinks of this Inspiration Mondays thing. I think October should be Book Month where all my inspirations are about books. I'm not going to pinpoint books, but I'm going to list what things renew my inspiration to write.

Oh, and if you haven't already, remember to check out my interview with Barbara Kloss HERE as well as her book, GAIA'S SECRET!



I've been in college for a while. Lol. (Nah, just going on 4 years), but still! Writing has been so difficult, and I had a hard time finding a book that motivated me like Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

Now this is really just specific to fantasy novels, really...cause that's my love!

1. I have to be taken to another world.
Not a Dystopian world, not our world with fantastical creatures (urban fantasy). I feel like there is no escape there. This doesn't mean I don't like these types of novels (I loved City of Bones ect.), they just don't inspire me to write as other worlds do! Give me a map. lol.

2. I want to learn things. I want different laws, different ideals, different....everything. I don't want something that I have to live everyday. In other words, I am reading for an escape (that's why I write, too), so I don't want to read my reality.

3. I do not like glaring, shiny love stories. Please. I want some fighting, action, adventure, fun! I mean, if you have a love story..that's great. I love being in love, but I know what it is....if I had wanted that I could have read a romance. It's become a common element in YA fantasy to dominate with love...just cause young adults don't understand it (usually) and get all fuzzy inside when they can read it and feel those feelings...but really...while I'm reading it I'm like 'yeah...I know already...I know...'. Don't get me wrong! Love is fine...moderation is key! Subtle = tension. Tension is good!!

4. I want to love those characters. I mean LOVE them. I want to think about them after I close the book and attempt to sleep and then cannot sleep because I just want to know the rest of the book! Basically, I want them to poke me until I pay attention to them and they can finish the story for me. I <3 this.

5. Most importantly, I want to step away from a novel and go 'Man, I want to create something like that!'. I want to fall in love with MY characters, MY world, MY book all over again! (This is for when I'm in a writing slump...)

Now, these are just my thoughts. I'm a fan of novels that aren't set in this world in ANY form really. Give me a map YOU created. Something I can envision myself, I'll love you!! Although, I'll give anything a chance.


Ohhhkay! Business! hehe. 

I added stuff to my Cutlass Page!! Silliness, really, but that's okay! :D


*clears throat* Why yes, this is my tattoo...it's like 2 weeks old? HURRRTTTT. 3 guesses! What does the 'A' stand for?!?

This is my writer face....'ARGH!!!' 

Did you recognize me?!? This weekend was my writing weekend. ALLL I DID WAS EDIT/WRITE!! That means no makeup face!! whoo. No one ever recognizes me...which is funny, a little insulting. It's whatevs though. hehe.