Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Working Hard

So trying to finish the first draft of one novel while editing another sucks. My mind is a little bit mushy, like overcooked spaghetti. I truly enjoy what I do, but it's hard, and I'm nowhere near being a published author..yet. I know there's a reason I'm putting in the work, because some day it will pay off, it's just hard to remember this at times. On the bright side I've already made some changes to my finished novel and wrote another couple thousand on my draft. It gets a little confusing, but I think I'm holding up alright. Now I should get back to work, there's only so much time that I can dedicate to writing with three little ones and with the husband out of town, it's even harder to find the time.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Brain Break

I think it's important to give your brain a break when you're writing. Turning off your imagination is nearly impossible (it is for my, anyway) but I think in order for my cluttered thoughts to gather and make collective sense I need to take time off. It's difficult for me to find time to write during the weekends because A. the hubby's at home and wants to go do fun stuff so sitting at home on the laptop is not an option and B. I also look forward to weekend for a break. This past weekend while I was on said 'break' a lot of the plotlines I wasn't so sure about started to thread together and make sense. I immediately opened up a new doc. and started to type where these thoughts were going. I didn't dive into writing entire scenes or anything, but just jotting down where your mind is taking you is important. Especially when you have three kids and a husband to distract you from these all important thoughts that are likely to disappear if you don't put them down somewhere, otherwise days full of dirty dishes, laundry, fighting kids, and general life hysteria can keep these ideas from taking shape and molding into something great. See what I mean about giving your brain a break? If you take the time to step away and enjoy life often times you'll find that things just start to make more sense. Well, my break is over and I need to get back to work. I'm excited now that I know what it is my character wants me to tell.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Five For Friday

1. I'm pretty proud of myself, but don't worry, I won't be patting myself in the back anytime soon. You see I wrote about 1,000 words consistently over the last several days. I still have a ways to go in the first draft, but if I keep this up I should have the first draft done by the end of the summer. The operative word here is 'IF'. Summer is a pretty hectic time of year and things come up all the time, so I'm not counting on it. But here's to hoping.

2. Next week is the Fourth of July and we have yet to make concrete plans. The traditional thing for us to do is drive a few hours to spend it with family- my husband has a large family and it's always fun. But this year driving around is SO expensive and we just can't afford to make that many roadtrips. I think instead we're going to go camping somewhere nearby, but like I said, nothing is set in stone.

3. I'm about to order a bunch of books and I'm very excited about it. I'm always very excited when I order books, I'm unreasonably giddy when it happens. There's about twelve books in my order thus far and the list only grows. I'm also really excited because I preordered Maggie Stiefvater's final book in her Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy a while back and I finally get it after the fourth! I can't wait to see how it all ends.

4. I just finished watching the first two seasons of Friday Night Lights and just started the third and so far I haven't been disappointed. I also have a huge crush on Coach Taylor, he's such a sweetie and so good to his wife. I love their relationship. I also love his relationship with his daughter. I think I like him so much because he reminds me of my own husband, who isn't perfect but is great to me and is also going to be great with a teenaged daughter someday- along with the boys. I encourage all to give it a try, and plus- that Tim Riggins is easy on the eyes.

5. I can't remember the last time I got to go on a date with my hubby. It's been a while and mostly because my daughter refuses to go to strangers so we can't get babysitters- kinda sucks. But my mother-in-law said she would like to come up and stay with us for about a week at the end of July and that would be a perfect opportunity for my husband and I to get some alone time. Our anniversary is in the beginning of August so it'll fall right around that time as well. Anyway, getting away from the kids is vital to a marriage, in my opinion. And I love having some alone time. Okay, that's all, I should go. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Link And A Push

Elana Johnson's blog has a great link to her book From the Query to the Call with very helpful advice and examples on what makes a great query letter. I've posted before about how I've been trying to strengthen my own query letter and this book REALLY helped. I've already reworked it and it's looking much better than before. Anyone else that is struggling, go on over and take a look, it'll help, really!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sick Of Being Sick

This is the second time in two months that I've gotten sick. It is particularly upsetting since the last time I got sick before that was over a year ago. Not fun. And add Father's Day to the nose blowing, lung coughing, head spinning symptoms and things were sure to end on a sickly note. My poor husband, I felt awful. I did wake up to cook him a Father's Day breakfast, but I couldn't do much of anything after that. My daughter had been up the last few nights with a fever, so that was one more added stress factor. But all in all, it wasn't too bad of a day. The Hubby played video games with the boys (Mario Kart is awesome and so addicting), got chinese for dinner, and got to lounge around all day because I couldn't go anywhere. All in all I'm just glad that it's over that I can get on with this whole recovery thing I hear so much about.

On another note, I haven't written anything down in several days and it's starting to get to me. I've been so distracted with my own mind and after a while it really starts to bogg you down. Doubts are flying around everywhere, I'm trying to figure out what to cut from my finished story, where I'm trying to go with my current WIP, wondering if a day will ever come when my book will be published, all these thoughts are truly draining. And let's add another mess to it all- I'm thinking about having another baby. Yeah, that pretty much trumps everything else. I'm scared to death of those first few sleepless and exhausting months, but I adore my children so much and I know that they're worth it. But the hardest part for me is pregnancy. My hormones are in such a rage that I make the wicked witch of the west look like freakin mary poppins. I know, I can be a little scary. My favorite part of pregnancy is labor, because when I'm at the hospital I  know I'm in good hands with the nurses and my doctor and I know that the whole miserable 40 weeks is finally coming to an end. I don't know, I want another one, but it's terrifying.

Okay, I'm really going to try and write despite the jumbled mess that is my mind. I love it and sometimes it's the only way I can escape said jumbled thoughts. And I'm really getting into my current WIP. I think I'm going to take another little while off with my other story to get my head screwed on straight. If i take that time, maybe those glaring mistakes and loose ends will be easier to spot. Here's to hoping for a good writing week!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Five For Friday

1. I'm way excited because the area I live in is FINALLY getting a Chipotle!!! Back when I was eighteen and lived in NoVa I worked in the cafe of a Borders. It was fun and I enjoyed making the drinks and having all access to the books in the YA section. But the real pleasure was having a Chiptole right next door! So for my break I'd walk over and order a vegetarian salad. The manager there who was around 40 would come to Borders for coffee and try to tempt me away from the cafe by offering me a job at Chiptole, I declined, but I did get some free meals out of it.

2. This Sunday is Father's Day and my husband has yet to tell me what he wants for breakfast or dinner. I'm sure we'll pick something yummy up for dinner- on Mother's day we got some yummy Indian food from a local restaurant. But  for breakfast I need to pick up the ingredients for whatever it is that he is craving. My husband is a great father and husband, and he deserves to be spoiled. I'm just a little neurotic and need some prep time.

3.The weather here is still trying to make up its mind. It doesn't get windy very often here in my neck of the woods, but lately the wind is the only consistent thing around here. I just want it to warm up so my kids can have fun in sun and so we can use our pool and bouncy house slide. Hurry up summer!

4.I'm still waiting to here back from my critiquers and am getting impatient. I kind of wish I had some beta readers to help me also. I need as much help as possible and don't really take solid criticisim personally, what would be the point? I just want to make my story better.

5. I'm going yard saling tomorrow,which is always exciting. I really want to find a china hutch for my kitchen and maybe some cute clothes for the Baby Princess. It's hard not having hand me downs since she is my first little girl. When my second little guy came around we didn't need to worry about replenishing his wardrobe because we still had stuff from his big brother. That's not to say that we didn't buy him new stuff every now and then, but we didn't need to worry about him not having something to wear. So, here's hoping that we can find some good deals. Other than that I hope it's a good weekend for everyone else, too!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Ever heard the term 'go big or go home'? Well, this applies to us writer's and our stories, but not the end result of finishing a book. This can be discounted becauseVERY few of us 'go big'. And it has nothing to do with our efforts in trying to get published. Most of it is out of our hands. Kinda scary, but that's reality. I've really grounded myself in my expectations for the future. I was impatient to get going in the whole publishing game, but having stepped back and taken a look at the big picture, I realize that I don't need to rush everything. Yes I will continue to query, but not having results in an amount of time that I deem appropriate isn't an issue anymore. Agents are busy, some may never respond to me, and I get how hard it is to respond in a fashionably late amount of time.

Right now I want to focus on cleaning up my query. I think mine is good, but I want it to be great, which means...REVISING! I'm also taking another look over my manuscript. It's a little too long at this point and I'm trying to figure out what I can take out without compromising the storyline. I also have a fellow writer who is also taking a look at it for me, along with my brother-in-law who is also a writer. When I first started this journey I was told that you would need an outside look in order to see the mistakes. I scoffed at this, thinking that I would know exactly what to do when the time came. Boy was I wrong. It's always helpful to have a helping hand point out your mistakes, whether they be run on sentences, an egregious amount of comma use, dialogue that doesn't move a scene along, and overdescriptive scenes or the lack thereof.

I want to be successful in my endeavors, especially this one. I believe in my story and I know that it would appeal to the group that I want to market it towards, I just need to find someone that believes in it as much as I do. It may take a while, but like I said before- I'm learning this thing called patience, and I'm prepared for the possibly long journey ahead of me. Meanwhile, I will continue with my other WIP and improve on my writing. I will also be doing a lot of reading this summer know...'research purposes'. The best part of being a writer is that you can sit down and read a great book and call it that. I wish everyone else that is following along on this path luck. I hope that your dreams come true, and that one day I'll join you in the ranks as a published author.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Creative Juices Are Flowing

I'm finally getting into the groove of things with my current WIP. I wrote, I don't know, like 4,000 words over a couple of days and really got into the character's head. It was hard at first to see through her eyes, but after a while I began to feel what she was feeling. It's not always easy to put yourself in your character's mind, a lot of times you want them to react to situations the way you would, but that's not the point of writing. My characters are usually very different from me, some of them may have small similarities, but not so much that you might mistake them for me. The whole point of writing them is so that you can see their journey and understand what they're going through, and it's not always easy. At times when my MC is going through something difficult I want them to react in a certain way so that the situation will be easier to handle, but you have to stop yourself, because conflict is necessary in the scene in order to push the plot along and make it more interesting. If you make your charactesr do exactly what you want them to, and not let them explore their own world, you might as well end after page five with the words And They Lived Happily Ever After written in that bold curving style that reminds you of Disney movies. Life is not perfect or easy, it's grueling and long, and can be painful and you have to put all of that real and hard stuff into the story, not matter how hard it may be for you, because at the end of the day it's not really about you, it' s about your characters and the story that they want you to tell. Alright, back to writing, and exploring, and understanding.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Five For Friday

1. Well...hello there, Friday. I didn't notice you creeping up on me throughout the rest of the week, but boy am I glad you're here.

2. Got some writing done on my new WIP and also made some changes to the other finished product. I'm very excited to be getting back into the groove of things. I always love how a new scene just happens to work in your story without you even realizing what's happening. That's what it's been like this week for me, and it's nice to have a break through.

3. I've been unusually tired this week and I'm pretty sure that it's because I'm trying to rally from our weekend getaway last week. One thing you should know about me: I LOVE sleep, like LOVE.

4. I wish that the weather around here would make up it's mind, is it summer yet? I mean seriously, my kids are dying to play outside all day every day, and this would be nice for me because I can be there with them while I get some writing done. Writing outside is the best.

5. Here's hoping for a productive weekend. I am finally getting into the whole decorating my new house thing and really want to take a look around Target for some stuff. I also need to develop some family pics to crowd our walls with. Hope you have a great weekend too!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I am in over my head, I am so in over my head that I may resemble one of those maids on one of those covers that is flat on her back, legs in the air, while some well muscled man, with arms the size of torpedos does something to her that is quite inapporiate to mention at this time. That's what if feels like, anyway. I have no idea whether or not I'm doing the right/write thing about my future. All I have to go on is that gut feeling. Which isn't much to rely on since my gut usually tells me that I need another piece of chocolate and that it really won't make me gain more weight. So, gut, I don't know if I should trust you anymore. I know I'm hungry, why can't you just push me towards the apple instead of the junk that is full of sugar and fat and high fructose corn syrup- all those things that work together to destroy your muscles and turn it into squishy, pudgy skin- the skin that covers my stomach at the moment.
Here's the thing, I know that my gut isn't wrong, but right now I kind of wish it was. Who wants to spend years upon years chasing some dream that may never come to be? Me, that's who. Because I love writing, and I want to put my stories on paper, even if no one else reads them. And while I continue on this neverending story(Atreyu!) that is also a journey, others will fall by the wayside and give up, helping me to get one step closer to my dreams. Because that means I have less competition to go against. Alright, I'm done complaining...for now. I'm going to go write something meaningful (or not). Okay, maybe I'll just write about kissing, that always gets me riled up.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Most day it's hard to find a desire to check everything off your mental 'TO DO'  list, or perhaps yours is literal. I've come to enjoy making lists. There's just something about that feeling you get from accomplishing a task (small as it may be) and crossing it out. But that's not the case every day. There are certain things that will always need to get done, no matter what. Cleaning- check; laundry-check; bills-check. Then there are those things that somehow find their way down to the bottom of the list, even though they're more important than the ones up top- working-out; writing; reading. The thing is that you need motivation for some of those things, and that can be lacking even at the best of times.

You could wake up with a big smile on your face, ready to get things going, feeling upbeat and refreshed, and those things will still somehow manage to get pushed aside. I LOVE reading and writing, I can't imagine my life without those two things. But the whole exercise thing, well, that's a little bit more difficult. I'm in pretty good shape, probably the best shape in my life (that doesn't mean that I look like I did in high school, just that I have a lot more stamina), and running is one of those things that I've grown to love, but even on the best days I can find it hard to put on my sports bra, tie up my shoe laces, and get on that treadmill. I don't know what it is, but my body just feels tired thinking about it. Wouldn't it be great if your body got the exercise that it needs just by thinking about it instead of actually doing it? Wishful thinking, I know.

Anyway, my motivation for writing is different. At times I can feel stuck in a rut because I can't figure out that one scene and I feel like if I don't step away that I'll end up ripping my hair out. I also wonder how much writing versus reading I should be doing. I'm a book addict, and you have to be if you want to be a good writer, but when do you push aside one desire over the other? I've found that doing some writing exercises can be very helpful during those times that I lack motivation. Giving my mind a break from one world and stepping into another can be refreshing. The same goes for reading. The beautiful woven words of another author can inspire you to stop being lazy and start typing.

We all need motivation at one time another, and whatever it may be, make sure that it works for you. At the end of the day when you go over that mental or literal 'To Do' list, make sure that it isn't at the bottom and bask in the glory of the accomplishment. And most of all, don't lose the passion you have for those things that bring you happiness, don't stop dreaming the impossible dream, and put everything you have into making that dream come true.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Back From the Vacay That Wasn't A Vacay

My oldest turned 5 yesterday and it's still not computing that he's going to be starting school in a couple of months. It doesn't seem right. But he's way excited and I'm excited for him, even though I know that the excitement can only last so long before he realizes what exactly entails the whole school thing. Then again, maybe he'll be one of those freaks that LOVED school growing up. This is a very slim possibility given my history with school and also my hubby's history with it- we both couldn't wait for it to be over. Looking back, I probably wouldn't have taken my education for granted. I had an opportunity that some women aren't even given in certain regions of the world. Also, I miss school. Okay, maybe not high school, but sometimes I wish I could go back to college and finish getting my degree.
I do plan on doing so once my kiddos are older. Until then, I'm doing the mommy thing and enjoying doing so. I know that I have stated this before, but I'll do it again- I'm very lucky to have the life that I do. Anyway, I have a lot to do around the house. Laundry being one of those things. I also want to work on some writing, and I want to spend a chunk of the day outside playing with the kids- although it looks like it might rain today, hopefully not though. It's always a little crazy getting back into the groove of things, but I'll get back to it soon enough.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I often find myself lost in the mundane day-to-day things without even realizing that most of it's gone in the nuance of unimportant things. We get so caught up in trivial matters like doing laundry, cleaning, running errands, paying bills- whatever it may be, that we forget to stop and appreciate those small moments that make living worthwhile. It can be anything, really. The way the sun perfectly hits your kitchen window in the morning, bouncing off of the glass, and casting rays of sunshine all throughout the room. Perhaps it's watching your little ones run around in the bright green grass of the day, as the sun peeks gently through the covering clouds below the blue sky. Or maybe it's how the wind picks up around your favorite tree, gently swaying it to the motion of the wisping blows. During those times we'll finally stop and reflect on how lucky we really are, and how amazing life is, and how it's a gift- not a right. I hope that I can stop taking this life for granted and enjoy life's most important matters like playing with my kids, writing the perfect scene in my WIP, being outside when the temperature has the perfect degree of heat with just the amount of wind to blow the clouds out of the way of the sun. Hope everyone has a good weekend, I know I'll be stopping to enjoy the view.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Scrambling For Sanity

So, today I need to pack for the our trip tomorrow, but that probably won't happen until around...say 11:45 tonight. I'm such a procrastinator when it comes to things. Maybe that's why it took me so long to finish my first draft of my current WIP. But, I also do my best work while under pressure- what's up with that? I guess a lifetime of procrastinating has prepared me well. But seriously, there are a lot of things that I need to get done before we leave tomorrow afternoon. Like cleaning. Not a fan. The last thing I want after returning from a long weekend getaway is to come home to a mess. It's bad enought that I'll have a pile of laundry to do right away without adding the stress of dirty dishes, or cluttered counters, and grimy floors. I guess I shouldn't complain too much. I have a pretty good life. I have three amazing kids, a hard working husband who loves me, and a roof over my head. My oldest will be turning five this weekend, and the fact that he's turned out so amazingly really has little to do with me. Really, how did I get so lucky when it came to the kids department? Not saying that the kiddos don't drive me crazy at times, but they're all beautiful and healthy and love each other.
I just wish I had more time in the day to get things done. Once the sun sets and the dark shade of night begins to creep around the edges of the sky, I find that I have regrets. Not all the time. Sometimes though, it is inevitable. I'll wish that I had  played more with the kids, or that I had worked out, I'll want more time to get my writing done, I'll regret not reading. It's a little draining focusing on all the things we get wrong. It happens to the best of us. So today, instead of worrying about what I won't get done, I'll focus on what I can do with the time that I have, and make the most of it. Here's hoping for safe travels and fun times with family, without too much insanity mixed in there as well.