Friday, July 30, 2010

Timeless Debates

So I have to follow up on the chocolate/peanut butter debate. Here are the results:

Total votes: 33

  Peanut Butter: 3 votes; 9%

  Chocolate: 23 votes; 70%

  Both (which wasn't even a choice, people!): 7 votes;  21%

Technically, another 7 grudgingly chose chocolate, but would have preferred both. In that case, chocolate got 16 votes, being 48%; and both got 14 votes, being 42%.

Still, chocolate won. Alas, I was on the peanut butter side. I feel so alone!

This time, we need a harder question. Got it . . . Ice cream or cake? (Any flavor)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Little Perspective

My first visit downtown with the kids, I had a very limited knowledge and understanding of the layout of the District. I carried a map, and consulted it constantly. When we decided to visit the White House, it felt like we had to walk a LONG TIME to get there.

Walking on the streets, the trees and the slope of the ground hide the White House really well. You could be walking right next to it, and not realize it. But with a little perspective, you have a much clearer picture.

This was taken from the top of the Washington Monument. The street you see is Constitution Ave. You might call it the main drag. That LONG WALK turned out to only be 2 blocks.

The publication process . . . whatever stage you may be in (writing, querying, on submission, waiting for publication date) . . . can sometimes feel like it takes a LONG TIME. And sometimes it does. But someday, when you have a little perspective on your experiences, you might realize that it didn't take as long as it felt like it did.

Does that make waiting any easier? Probably not. But I do try to keep it all in perspective. ;)

What has your experience been? Is the wait worth it?

Monday, July 26, 2010


Thanks to everyone for entering my giveaway!

With 31 entries, has chosen:


Congratulations! I've e-mailed you and you have 48 hours to send me your snail mail address.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quick Giveaway!

I was fortunate to win a copy of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer. All kinds of buzz has been swirling around this book which is released by Philomel in Oct. 2010.

From Ms. Cremer's web page, here is the description:

While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.

Instead of being greedy and keeping it for myself, I am going to give away my copy (paperback, read once by me). All you have to do is be a follower and leave a comment with your e-mail address on this post. And I'm sorry, but because of costs, I can only ship to a U.S. or Canadian address (if you're international, but have someone in the US or Canada I can send it to, I'm totally fine with that).

The last day to enter is Sunday, July 25 at midnight EDT. I'll post a winner Monday.

So, recap:
  1. I'm giving away a gently used ARC of Nightshade.
  2. To enter, be a follower, leave a comment with e-mail on this post.
  3. Ends Sunday, July 25th at midnight.
  4. U.S. & Canada only.
  5. Good luck!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Candyland's Awesome Contest

If you haven't heard about Candace's contest over at The Misadventures In Candyland, you should go there now. This isn't just any old contest. This is Operation I Heart Joy Like BR8o.

What does that mean you ask? Well click here for her explanation. This contest is to help raise money for a charity called Joy 2 the World which generates micro-credit loans to women in Ghana to help them become independent.

I.E. They loan her money to buy a sewing machine and then they can start their own business.

It seems like such a small thing, but this can really make a big difference in their lives. Even if you can't give money, please help spread the word. This is an awesome cause that is about more than giving someone a meal or even feeding them for a month. This is about changing their lives.

Oh, and did I mention that there are some awesome prizes? So many generous people donating to the cause!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?

Vicki Rocho (at Rambles and Randomness) and I had an e-mail exchange on this general topic last week, so I wanted to throw this question out there . . .

Chocolate or peanut butter?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I took this picture from my back porch last March. I'd been working away on the computer when my son slipped next to me and said, "Mama, we haven't watched a sunset together in a long time!" My little heart melted, and I had to grab the camera to remember the moment.

In movies and literature, sunsets are rather iconic. Often, the hero rides off into it. It's a time of change, transition (think Fiona in Shrek). It's the ending of one phase and the start of another.

We all face countless sunsets in our lives: graduation from high school and college; marriage; children. And the same can be said for us as writers: completing that first novel; attending that first conference; receiving that first critique; facing that first rejection; attaining an agent; signing a book deal.

Some of these sunsets we pray for. We eagerly await those moments when we can finally close that chapter in our lives. Move forward. Sometimes we're there in our minds long before reality catches up. I totally do this when I think about finding an agent.

But too often, we're so anxious for the sunset, we forget to appreciate the beauty of the day. Having recently finished my 2nd book, I can tell you that while it felt good, it didn't even rival how I felt after completing my first one. And it was an unpublishable mess. Yet, I don't think I appreciated that joy at the time.

No matter what sunset you're waiting on, what are you appreciating about your "day"?

Me? I'm appreciating that I have no tight deadlines. ;)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lexical Gaps

As an English major, Linguistics 101 was a required course. Surprisingly, I actually loved the class . . . though that might have been because the teacher was a stand-up comedian on the side.

So of all the things I'm sure I should have learned from that class, what I best remember are Lexical Gaps.

Lexical Gaps, in the linguistic sense, are possible word forms which aren't really words. Sometimes it's because another word already exists to express the same meaning, sometimes there's no real reason. It just isn't.

Examples would be funner, badder, goodest, extinctified, unreplaceable, fantabulous.

Granted, some lexical gaps are a bit grating (i.e. goodest, badder, funner), but used right, they can liven things up and give a sense of personality. I've seen a couple on blogs that are fun: besties, awesomesauce

So the question is, do you have a favorite lexical gap? And would you ever use it in your book?

P.S. Now when someone tells you "That's not a word," you can tell them, "Yes, but it's a lexical gap, so I can use it." :D

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Award Central

Between my contest and the move, I've been hoarding a few awards. It's always a warm fuzzy to receive an award like when someone offers you half their cookie at lunch. So, time to share the fuzzies!

Renae at The Siren's Song; Sharon at Random Thoughts; Kris & Kels at Take My Hand; Amparo at No Rest for the Lazy; Medei Sharif; Writing Nut at Writing in a Nutshell; Julie Musil; and Alexandra at Friends and Crocodiles awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you all! I'm so flattered you would think of me.

Then Bethany Elizabeth at Ink-Splattered, and Clara at Pinches of Madness awarded me the Honest Scrap Award. I love this one. Makes me feel strong. :)

And finally, Medeia Sharif also awarded me the Sugar Doll Award. I feel so sweet every time I look at the one. Thank you! Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need to go eat a sugar cookie . . .

Okay, I'm back. So Honest Scrap and Sugar Doll ask for 10 facts about me, and Versatile wants another 7. You'd all be bored to tears, so I'll just offer up 7 and call it good:

  1. I don't eat plain chocolate. Slather it over a cookie, or mix it with something and I'm good, but I can't handle it plain. Every few years I try to eat it again, but I always have to spit it out. No go.
  2. My husband and I spent 3 months in Ecuador the first year we were married to work in orphanages. All our wedding cash went to pay for it, but it was SO worth it.
  3. I was a cheerleader in junior high. Short skirt and all. But no pom-poms. I promise I was no cliche, though. I was nice! Really. :D
  4. I'm much better at math than I am at English. I know, weird!
  5. I'm the 4th of 5 kids . . . Did you know 4th children are always the most well-adjusted? ;)
  6. I have never been to Canada. 
  7. I hate to brag, but I can both roll my tongue and fold it. Yes, talent indeed.
Okay, so for passing these puppies on. Versatile calls for 15 people each, and the others ask for 5 . . . so doing the math (which I'm good at, remember?) . . . (8 x 15) + (5 x 2) +5, that would be 135 of you. Uh, yeah, that's a lot. So I will be breaking some rules.

I am choosing only 5 recipients, and I am letting you choose which award you want (did Stina do that first? Fab idea):

Vicki Rocho at Rambles and Randomness. She is so fun, and not afraid to share those less-than-flattering moments. If you need a good laugh, check out her blog.

Roh Morgon at Musings of a Moonlight Writer. She is just getting started with her blog and has a fun character contest going on right now.

R. Garrett Wilson who always has interesting discussions going on. His blog makes me think, and I like that.

Justine Dell who is not only funny, but amazingly brave. She posts her query stats ON HER BLOG! I can only hope to be that brave one day.

Finally, Bekah at Bekah's Stories who always has interesting topics going on, plus she has a Worst Query contest going on right now. How fun is that?

So phew! My fingers are numb. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wallowing in My Own Mud

So we've moved. Unpacked? No. But moved, yes. Yay!

More space for the kids to run around. No neighbors beneath us. Best friends next door. I'm thrilled.

However, I'm learning stuff about myself. Though the new place was "cleaned," I have spent a lot of time cleaning. Wiping down blinds, walls, cupboards, cabinet tops, disinfecting the bathrooms . . . well, you get the idea. The thing is, I had to do all of that in my old apartment before leaving, and it wasn't nearly as gross.

And after much reflection, I've figured it out . . . in my old place, the dirt was MINE. In our new place, the dirt is someone else's. That makes it much more egregious.

The thing is, I think our books are like that, too. I see an overused adjective in my critique partner's work, I heartlessly mark it (in the nicest sort of way, of course). A nicely worded phrase that's simply unneccessary? Cross it out. Etc., etc.

When I see it in my own? But I NEED that adjective. Is the overuse really that horrible? And that phrase is BEAUTIFUL. Perfect. Necessary. I can't cut THAT.

See, but it's my own dirt. Maybe I should pretend I'm editing someone else's work for my next revision . . . Do you find it easier to edit others' work?