Monday, August 29, 2011

Blogging Awards and Random Facts

I would like to thank Laila Knight for giving me a blogging award! Go to the link above to check out her awesome blog, Untroubled Kindom of Laila Knight. These are my first and possibly my only, awards but I am grateful nonetheless. I also want to officially welcome all the new faces who are following my blog, it's an honor. So here the awards I got from Laila:


Here are the Rules:

Thank and Link to the person who nominates you

Share Seven Random facts about yourself

Pass the award to five more blogger friends

Contact and congratulate the blogs nominated

Okay, so seven facts about myself. I apologize ahead if these are not all that interesting to you...

1. I am under five feet tall. I think my purpose in life is to make others feel tall, or at least that's what I tell myself.

2. I was originally born in India and moved to the states when I was six, growing up in the suburbs of DC. Northern VA and DC will always have a special place in my heart.

3. When I was three and lived in the Himalyas (my dad's from a tiny village up there in those grand mountains) we visited a Hindu temple where they let local monkeys roam free. Being three, I thought they were the cutest things in the world and proceededt to chase a baby monkey. Needless to say, the mom wasn't too happy and bit me- with the baby joining in. I have scars on the back of my left leg from the attack. You can guess that my love for monkeys is slim to none.

4. My name is Hindu and when translated to english means inspiration. Yeah, kind of a hard one to live up to.

5. Okay, so this one isn't about me, but it's pretty dang cool. My dad is well aquainted with the international superstar actor known as, Leonardo DiCaprio. Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, he's stayed at his guest house on a couple of different occasions (once while he was filming Blood Diamond in south Africa) and has even cooked him Inidan food. My little brother spent Christmas day at Leo's beach house last year along with my dad and the actor himself, he even has a pic of them together on facebook. I was supposed to meet him a couple of years ago, but he was dating Bar Rafeali at the time and they were in a fight so they couldn't come out to have dinner with us at my dad's. I'm hoping to meet him the next time we get a chance to go out to LA.

6.I've known my husband since I was fifteen- it'll be a decade this upcoming Thanksgiving.

7. I have a huge fear of snakes- they are disgusting and I have no idea why they even exist.

Before I tell you my nominees I have to say that it was tough choosing just five. I enjoy reading all the blogs that I follow, and all of you have fun, smart, witty, and insightful thoughts to share with everyone.
Without further ado, here are my nominees:

Lindy at

Melanie Stanford at

Steph Sinkhorn at

Charlotte G at

Trisha Leaver at

Go check them out!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Five for Friday

1. Last weekend my husband went on the hunt for the ever elusive HP touchpad. I don't know if you heard the news about HP pulling the plug after only 7 weeks, but it sent many a geeks in quite a frenzy. After two frustrating, wanting to tear your hair out days,he found a couple- a 16 gig for me and a 32 gig for himself. I got mine on Wednesday and am already in love. Want to know what I've been doing since getting it? Playing Angry Birds. Hi, I'm Prerna, and I'm an Angry Birds addict. You guys may need to hold an intervention. I am still surprised that HP cut the cord prematurely, I think they should have at least cut the prices(which were, let's be honest, astronomical) before giving in. But I'm reaping the benefits, and at $99 you can't go wrong.

2. Now that I'm pregnant, not only will I be bringing a new life into the world through the miracle of birth (I don't understand why people think it's beautiful, it's not, it's kind of gross, but worth it)but I now have an excuse to inhale copious amounts of chocolate. No bar is safe with me around!Best Pregnancy Benefit EVER.

3.I'm going to try and pull another miraculous weekend of edits like the last, but that may not happen, since the morning sickness is finally kicking in. I'm hoping to finally be done so I can have it be looked over by some friends and family, but alas, my burning eyes are telling me that this may be asking for too much.

4. My oldest started school on Wednesday and I didn't even shed a tear! I was so proud of myself. I did get a bit misty eyed, but held it together at the end.

5. Have you ever encountered one of those questions from someone that isn't meant to be insulting, but totally is when it's asked? So the other morning I hauled my brood to drop off the eldest for school, when a mom of one of his classmates approached me. She proceeded to ask, with a cringing tone, and a look of pity in her eyes, "You're not going to have another one, are you?" Yeah, I know it probably wasn't meant to be rude, but it hit me all wrong and made me a little angry. I went on to answer, with a smiling face, "Actually, I'm pregnant with my fourth." Now, I have no problem with people who decide to have 1 or 2 kids, or none whatsoever, or even those who have an even dozen or more, it's YOUR choice. But sometimes the Judgey McJudgersons of the world really get to me. I respect everyone for their own personal choices, please extend the same courtesy to me. Thank you!

Have a great weekend everyone :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Movies That Inspire

I recently rewatched Legend starring: Tom Cruise (of scientology fame), Mia Sara (of Ferris Bueller's fame) and Tim Curry (of Rocky Horror fame)and I have to say that I still love and adore as much as ever. It has everything! Unicorns, a dark lord trying to steal sunlight, fairies, elves, true love, and some fighting with swords. And the make-up was pretty stellar for it being 1985. When I saw Tim Curry's name on the information I was in complete shock. I would have never guessed it was him underneath that red, monsterous costume.

It also took me way back to my childhood, the sense of nostalgia ever so close. I was suddenly ten again, sitting on my bed with my sister on a hot, sultry summer morning (I swear the only time TBS ever ran this movie was during the summer) thinking that it was ALL possible, that magic was real and one day I was going to find me a unicorn. And I still believe in that magic (fairies are real, I tell you!). It's the same feeling I get when I watch Labyrinth (I would stayed with David Bowie :)or even an old Disney movie. What about you, is there a movie out there that takes you back to that feeling of pure, innocent belief in all that's good and beautiful? That makes you want to recreate it in your own words for future generations?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Actual Post

So I just joined the Writer's Platform-Building Campaign and it's all very exciting. I've popped by a few of the blogs in my group, but am taking a break to write a post for an update in my life and writing- which is pretty much my life when I'm not being a mom and wife.

This past weekend I was sleep deprived. Weird, I've always been under the impression that lack of sleep doesn't take into effect until after the baby's born. But I guess with three other little ones, hoping for sleep is like expecting Hollywood to come up with some original screenplays- it's a rare and elusive breed that can think up something new. Which brings me to this- did you hear about the Dirty Dancing remake? In the name of all that's sacred, WHY??? Don't they know that you can never replace the Swayze? Okay, I'm done with the little rant, but seriously, this had me in all sorts of angry knots.

The lack of sleep is also my fault. Starting Friday and going through the rest of the weekend I would disappear into my writing cave from the hours of 9 pm-1 am. Now, I knew my kids would be awake by 7:00 the next morning, but that did not deter my writing juices from flowing. All parents know that in order to actually get anything productive done with your writing, you have to make some sacrifices- sleep being #1 on the list. I was like a mad pregnant woman on a mission this weekend. The mission: finishing my revisions. And how did I do? Not too shabby.

Pretty soon my brain cells are going to zap away as the pregnancy hormones take over, and I had to use what function my brain has left before everything goes kaput! Pretty soon those whitty lines, desperate inner monologues, descriptive words are all going to dry up like the Sahara, with only a mirage of a fully capable mind left in place. I'm hoping it won't be as drastic as the last time I was pregnant, but only time will tell what's to become of me. For now I must attend to the cry child that is calling for my attention. Wish me luck in this sometimes daunting task of mine.

New Link

For whatever reason the link's not working, so I'm going to try this again. Rachael Harrie's blog.

Writer's Platform-Building Campaign

I just signed up to do the third Writer's Platform-Building Campaign on Rachael Harrie's blog. It sounds like a great opportunity to get to know your fellow writers as they journey in the publishing industry and blog about it. I've been wanting to get to know more of us who are trying to make it, because isn't it nice to know you're not alone? I encourage you all to do it too :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Five For Friday

1. My poor laptop bit the dust this week, it's actually pretty surprising that it's lasted this long. I'm typing this from my desktop and I have to say that it's just not the same. They never warn you when you decide to have kids that your electronics are most likely going to end up fried, beaten, broken, name it, it's going to happen with little ones around. But now we are well on our way to purchasing a tablet! How exciting, also kinda scary when you take into account how small and breakable those little buggers are, yeah...hopefully Tabby lasts longer than Lappy.

2.I found out that I am with child this past week and that's exciting, but mostly I'm freaking out when it comes to my writing. Last time I was pregnant I think I wrote maybe ten thousand words at the most because of how much my brain resembled a pile of jello that's been sitting out all day- gross and mushy. I'm going to try my hardest to stimulate it with good reading, blogging, and writing that hopefully won't be too awful.

3. I'm thinking about entering the query trenches, which is another thing that is frightening yet also exciting. I worked on my letter and it's definitely better than before, but there's always that hint of doubt that keeps you chained down in the fear. I've been revising like crazy so I know that my manuscript is in better shape than it was the last time I took the plunge (prematurely). Here's hoping I can overcome that doubt and continue to have faith in my story and writing ability.

4. I'm more than halfway through the books that I purchased recently and I can't believe it...I'm a little sad about it. Maybe I should have taken a little more time savoring them instead of reading in such a mad, happy, delerium- that's what it's always like when I buy a bunch of books at once. So far I've enjoyed most of them. There were a couple that didn't quite hold up to the reviews I read, but they weren't awful by any means.

5.One thing you'll never see on my blog is criticism over someone else's work (So if I totally can't stand a book, you aren't going to hear it from me). It's not okay to put someone else down when there are plenty out there who would rip me to shreds as well. It just doesn't seem very professional, especially when you know how much hard work, blood, sweat, and tears you put into the written word. Respect is big in this industry and I respect ANYONE brave enough to enter it, and succeed. More power to you!
ALright, that's all for today, I hope everyone has a great weekend, filled with inspiration, family, and loved ones!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review: Hourglass by Myra Mcentire

I didn't know what to expect when I started this gem of a book, but it wasn't the twists and turns that it took me on. Here's the synopsis:

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened

Okay, so it's got some serious paranormal action, signs of possible ghosts, hot guys that you want more of, and a secret organization that you're not quite sure about. I was surprised by the whole *spoiler alert* time travel concept. I thought it was quite clever and well thought out. Ms. Mcentire's writing is fun and easy to read, her descriptions spot on,her dialogue believable. That said the only thing I have a complaint about is Emerson's relationships with her family and best friend. I loved all the scenes that involved Emerson and her brother, but I wanted more. I think it was hard to believe that he would ever let her do some of things that he does without more of a fight. And I wanted more of Lily. You find out some interesting facts about Emerson's best friend as you get further into the book, but then she kind of just disappears. I really hope we see more of her in the sequel and explore her friendship with Emerson.

All in all Hourglass was an enjoyable read and original in concept (no vampires or werewolves came flying out of the woods or anything), and I can't wait to read the next installment in the series.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Writing Tantrums

Ever had one of these suckers? You're plodding along, things are going pretty smooth, the prose is working, your plot is actually coming together, and then-boom! You have no idea where to go next, and you're yelling at yourself for not knowing better, you're writing like crazy, but quite frankly, everything you write sounds like a bunch of regurgitated junk. Your entire manuscript now seems uneven and sounds false, and all you want to do is lay down on the ground, kick your feet and fists, and cry screaming words of frustration. Yeah, I think all writers have been there. And I myself, with three kids on hand, have had to deal with actual tantrums in the middle of the store which are not nearly as frustrating as the one I have in my head from writer's block.

It's to be expected, but how do we get over the hump? Here are a few little things that have helped me in the past.

1. Start on another project- sometimes the only way to have a breakthrough on a current work is to take your mind away to another place.

2. Step back- take some time off from the writing thing. Your mind might just be on the edge of a break down. Go for a walk, play with your kids, just clear your head

3. Read- other author's works can inspire you in ways you didn't think possible. Maybe you read something really crappy and you realize it is your calling in life to create something less crappy for readers. Maybe you read something fantastic and your competitive side is stirred and you want to write something as good if not better.

4. Eat lots of junk- it can be sweet or salty, as long as it gets those endorphins going.

5. Watch t.v. or a movie- Or maybe a made for t.v. movie, it'll get you thinking, how did this piece of sh** ever get to the point where people thought ' huh, this ain't half bad.' Seriously, have you ever seen a Lifetime Movie Channel movie, like ever? Storylines from movies and t.v. can also help you to see a plot twist that perhaps wasn't working before or seems cheesy. All the different twists that come along may help you to realize that you don't have nearly as much in your own work, or may have you laughing so hard at the ridiculousness that you pee in your pants (not that that's ever happened to me).

6. Sleep- your brain can't function if it isn't fully rested, just like the rest of you. Just get some rest. This is by far my favorite because sleeping is my favorite activity of all time. For some reason the greatest ideas come to me right before I'm about to slumber off into my heavenly state of rest. Tip: Keep a paper and pen on hand just in case.

7. Listen to some music- How many writers do you know that don't listen to something while they're working at some point or another? Music can soothe your soul and create visions of scenes that you didn't even think imaginable. I love getting lost in a good song almost as much as I love getting lost in a good book.

Okay, that's it for now. I hope this is helpful to some of you. This list is actually longer than I ever intended it to be, so if you stop halfway through I'll understand. Just keep on writing your little hearts out and don't give up and before you know it you'll get there.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Five For Friday

1. Michael Buble was AH-MAH-ZING, I can't remember the last time I laughed so much, he is hilarious. And that soulful, unique voice of his had me swooning and dancing and very happy. His opening act was also incredible, they're called Naturally 7 and they use their mouths to make the sounds of instruments like guitars or harmonicas, the bass, drums, anything you can think of, they did it. It was like that show The Singing Bee with Nick Lachey of 98 degrees fame??? Yeah, very inspiring and talented.

2. I finished reading another book 'Hourglass' and will write up a review next week. Spoiler: It was freaking awesome!

3.You know how you get lost in the emotions of your character at times?? I've found that it's quite theraputic for me. My MC Shelly goes through some things that I've never been experienced myself, but found that the emotional tornado that lifts her up and makes her dizzy is much like some of the things I went through as a teen, and it has helped me to accept it and move on. Yeah, writing is my very own way of being psycho analyzed.

4. I can't say I've gotten much writing done this week...well...because I haven't. What can I say, having sick kids, my poor mother-in-law being sick, getting my house ready for my own mom to visit, all of these things have made it kind of hard to get much of anything done that doesn't involve wrapping people up in blankets or scrubbing of some kind.

5. One of my favorite books is 'The Help' and as you know, I'm sure, the movie came out on Wednesday. I'm kind of anxious to watch it. Recently I read an interview with the author where she shared her publishing story and the woman was rejected sixty times! Yes, that's 6-0! Wow, all I can say is that she is one optimistic mumba jumba (i don't know what that means, but I just made it up so it counts :). It really helped me to realize that if you really love your story and truly believe in it, then don't give up! Keep trying. And that's what I'll leave you with on this warming Friday morning, keep on trekking!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Writing Through the Nausea

The amount of illness that has overtaken our home for the last month plus is really starting to irritate me...and my son hasn't even started school! I was under the impression that grade school kids usually bring home the germs with them from their classmates, but why is it that we're all puking when he's never even stepped foot in his school since registration back in March? I'm getting kind of grumpy about it. Honestly, I can't remember the last time we are all this sick, in fact, my husband has NEVER been this sick.

To top it off, my poor mother-in-law is in town and she also caught the little bugger. I'm hoping all is well by tomorrow because that's when me and the hubby are going to the Michael Buble concert, which I am SO estatic about. I love his style of singing, how he's managed to blend the classics (Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, etc) with his own contemporary stuff.

But the real reason I'm writing this post is because as I've been sitting around, trying to ignore the nausea, I've been able to do some writing. So, I guess it's kind of a good thing? No, I'm pretty sure I would have been writing even if I was well. Right now I'm just trying to write through the sickness. I also entered a contest over on Becky Wallace's blog a few weeks back to have my story critiqued by her awesome editing powers. Alas, I didn't win, but she did say she would critique your query letter if you weren't chosen, and she is a woman of her word. I got mine back yesterday and I am so grateful for the time she took to look over it and for the advice she gave- I've already started to tweak my query and it's looking so much better than before.

Okay, I have some housework that needs attention. Here's hoping that our house full of sickos recovers soon.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss

Finished Anna and the French Kiss, and oh my goodness, did I LOVE it! I've always enjoyed contemporary teen novels, but it's been a while since one came along that was so fresh and well written and just plain perfect. Stephanie Perkins has solidified my love for this genre, and I'm off to pre-order my copy of Lola and the Boy Next Door. Seriously peeps, this book made me realize how unqualified I am as a writer. I know that everyone has their own style, but I am envious of Ms. Perkins ability to capture the emotions of a scene with the smallest of details. And it made me want to go to Paris so bad! I've always wanted to go but now I must visit every monument, museum, graveyard and whatnot that was listed. And the food, holy crap, do I want to try the food. Then there's the romance between Anna and Etienne, so sweet, with great build up, the kind that makes you want to kick someone in the head because you're dying for them to finally kiss! Ms. Perkins knows how to use the romantic tension to her advantage. All in all it was a fun read with great characters and I was not disappointed- isn't that always nice?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Five For Friday

1. I finished the sequel to Paranormalcy, Supernaturally, and also enjoyed it quite a bit. I read some reviews where people were complaining that Evie was too weak and reliant on Lend, but here's the thing, the girl has ALWAYS been lonely. That was the premise for her being an empty, so no matter what she's going to need that one person that's made her feel normal and human and not empty. When you really love someone it sucks to be apart from them, she isn't whiney, just in love. And she did still kick some butt.

2. There's a pretty importnant scene towards the end of my manuscript that I've been struggling with, and I finally had a breakthrough last night! It's so exciting to finally put a piece of the puzzle together that's been hiding underneath your couch this whole time. The location of the scene was one thing that bothered me (it takes place in NYC) and I could never find a place quite creepy enough for it, search as I might, but over the last few days I found the perfect place, the only problem, you need a boat to get there. But no problemo for my characters, they are supernatuarl freaks afterall. I wrote some of it yesterday, and I'm going to finish it up today.

3. I also had a great idea for an opening for my WIP, having struggled with it for quite some time. It just hit me while I was in the car (my husband was driving). I'm always inspired watching the scenery unfold behind the big glass and metal bubble of a vehicle, I don't know why, it just soothes me. But it's nice to know where I'd like to start. Kind of key.

4. Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary, thus far we haven't made any huge plans since we don't have baby-sitters (my daughter refuses to go to anyone that she hasn't been around for like three days straight). It's frustrating but my mother-in-law volunteered to come down and stay with us for a few days so we can get some alone time. That'll be nice. I really mean it when I say it's so important to get away from the kids every now and then, you need it for your sanity. So, I think we might go to a concert or something, the movies, and a yummy dinner, who knows?

5. I'm not sure how much reading I'm going to get done this weekend since my husband doesn't like when I disappear behind a book for long periods of time when he's around, but I'm looking forward to diving into the many other stories that I purchased. Next on my list is "Sirensong" by Jenna Black, it's the last in the Faeriewalker series and I can't wait to see how it ends. I'll let you know how it goes. Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reading, So Far...

Okay, so I've finished two of the I don't even know how many books I ordered. The first being The Iron Witch. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. The idea of a girl gaining superhuman strength with the iron pumping in her hands was pretty cool, I also loved the discriptions of all the creepy fey creatures, I could totally picture them. The only negative thing I have to add is that during the middle the author dumps all this info on you and it kind of made the story drag, other than that, I thought it was original, with a just the right amount of romance and adventure thrown in to make you keep turning the pages.

The other book I finished was Paranormalcy, this one I loved. Evie is freaking awesome and I really connected to her. Then there's Lend, can you say dreamy? Perfect guy, definitely. I'm glad he wasn't some jerk who kept giving Evie mixed signals, being all sweet to her then all brooding, he was genuine. Seems now adays that all the guys in books have that whole emo, brooding, formula to them and Lend was refreshing. After the end I couldn't wait to start the next one, Supernaturally, and I'm so glad that I bought them both so I don't have to wait for it.

That's it thus far. I'm sure I'll chug along the rest in no time. My husband will complain about how I'm not spending enough time with him, so I've got make sure I don't get so dragged into the books that I ignore everything around me, and trust me, that's hard.

In the writing front, things are moving along nicely. I'm almost done with revisions and am hoping to find some beta readers. Still no critique partners. I'm still on the hunt for those sadly. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Maniac Mondays

Yes, you read that right, Maniac Mondays, not Manic Mondays. Why? Because I often feel like a maniac trying to get back into the groove of things after a fun-filled weekend. I'm often more tired than usual, my house is messier than usual, and the kids tend to be a little bit more antsy than usual. Oh well, such is life.
On the bright side, I can get back to my writing. I've already done about twenty pages of revising/editing and that's a pretty big accomplishment for a Monday.

Now if only I felt motivated enough to do the other twenty things on my checklist.

Over the weekend I did a lot of thinking about my MCs and what I could do to make them stand out even more from the pages of my manuscript. For those who don't know, I have alternating POVs, and it can be difficult at times to get into my male MC's head. But I realized that sometimes less is more when it comes to guys. Boys don't talk in flowery prose about what a beautiful day it is outside, they are more often than not thinking about video games or girls or something else that I can't quite relate to. They don't usually sit around thinking about stuff to do and analyzing it, they just get up and do it. You just have to get to the point where your comfortable with writing about things in their way and not yours.

I know that every person is different, that there are boys out there that are a little more sensitive to things than others (my MC is a more sensitive male, I didn't want to do too much of the whole dark and mysterious bad boy thing) but I didn't want him to sound feminine. That's the hard part of writing from a POV you don't share a gender with. But I'm getting the hang of it as I plod along and I have to say that Kale (My Male MC) is starting to shine. I hope that your characters do as well.