Monday, July 25, 2011


Probably will not be able to blog for a few days because we are moving to a new apartment - yes, I know you are all terribly jealous because moving is just the "funnest."

I just wanted to thank those who posted comments and sent me some private feedback - it bolstered my spirits to get some good suggestions.  I am going to keep writing - amidst the move - but obviously not as much as I would normally like to!

Thank you to everyone for the support!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Feeling frustrated....

I really don't want to pay a professional editor to edit my manuscript.  That said, I have been seeking feedback and it has come in bits and pieces - very slowly.  When I like something or agree that a change would make it a little tighter, I absolutely make the corrections, however, I don't always do so for various reasons.  I cannot spell everything out in the first 6 chapters or it would not be very exciting, would it?  I also cannot account for limitations on various websites (i.e. does not allow use of italics or underlining or bold type, etc and part of my dialogue is done telepathically so where I would normally have it italicized it is not).  Consequently, I have been "knocked" on ratings because people couldn't get past that.  Really?  I would never knock a fellow writer for something like that. 

I also have been working on the forums and I find that some of those members are utterly useless - and rude - giving poor feedback to newbies and it makes me sad because I have seen some excellent work get annihilated by one or two people who I can only presume are jealous or complete morons.  When I see "hero member" beneath their name I wonder if they earned that by trashing real talent??? 

That said - and yes I am ranting - I am starting to wonder if I would be best off self publishing for now.  Thoughts???

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fabulous wine and a bit of cheese

Just moments away from a bit of well deserved relaxation.  Thank you Pasek for yor glorious wines, I long to visit your winery and do some tastings....within the next month I will certainly be there!  It has been a long week and proves to be worse next week - we are moving to a new place, ugh - needless to say, I am going to relish my time tonight, and the next two days. 

I have been productive though, two query letters out (with a different format!) and a little more editing/tweaking.  I admit to a crisis of faith in Estelan last night, another rejection and frustration over my query letter left me feeling flustered.  It was not a great feeling.  I re-read my manuscript today, well parts of it, and I regained hope, and faith in it.  I intend to proceed with book 2 in the Estelan series, titled ECHO RISING, and if it comes down to it, there is always the self-pub option.  I really just want to see it/them in print, even if it is just on my own personal bookshelf. 

My moments are up, I am off to uncork a bottle and cut up some scrumptious cheese.  Cheers!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

When I feel like writing....

which is pretty much all the time, I pull out my awesome new netbook and tap some things out, or I whip out the journal in the nightstand next to my bed, or if I am desperate I will tap a note in my phone or iPod.  I write every day now, and have been for months, like I opened the flood gates and all of the stories that floated about my imagination for so long are now pouring out.  The hardest part is the new material - and I get a lot of it! - from my kids to my "real job" to my relationships to the dreams that wake me some nights.  Where do I incorporate those when I have so many threads weaving already??  It is hard to turn something off once you turn it on, but in this case, I don't believe I want to - one of these ideas is bound to hit, right?  No way was I given this ridiculous imagination for nothing??

I sent out to more queries today.  I am not 100% positive that my manuscript is 100%, but I am pretty solid in it and I feel the urge to push it....maybe I will get a bite for more and it will drive me that much further, maybe I won't and that will spur me to make some more changes - either way I want to move this book forward, Estelan is in my dreams more nights than not and I need to get it out!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Once upon a time....

....there was a little girl who made up plays about Care Bears and Smurfs and Gummi Bears.  She made masks and costumes for her brother and sister and directed them.  She wrote scripts and illustrated backdrops with construction paper or anything they could get their hands on.  She wrote (and illustrated) a children's book about Super Oreo an extraordinary cream-filled cookie.  Now the little girl is grown with a little girl of her own who directs plays about Spongebob and Patrick or life-sized games of monopoly. 

It is truly funny how small bits of our childhood come back to haunt us as parents.  I recall my mother telling me of a book she wrote as a child.  I remember seeing said book when I was a child.  I am not sure where "Super Oreo" is but I have many other pieces to show my child some rainy day.

I aspire to write, it brings me great joy and I can spin a number of tales at any given moment, does that make me a success waiting to happen?  Doubtful.  It does make me a lucky person who has the opportunity to do something I enjoy, even if I only share it with my nearest and dearest.

Once upon a time......well you know how it goes, the possibilities are endless.....

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Maybe it's the pincers, chkt chkt

In honor of the release of HP 7.2 I feel the need to pay homage to J.K. Rowling who created such a beautiful world for children (and adults, let's be real everyone, the midnight showings will be filled with 18+ people).  As a Mom myself, working at a job that is less than fulfilling, and with a head full of story ideas, I am truly inspired by the brilliance and tenacity of Ms. Rowling.  It is exciting to me to see a story touch so many people and teach generations some of the more difficult lessons in life without telling them what to believe in the end.  In a world where people stand on street corners trying to forcefeed you their own moral and political agendas it is refreshing to escape into the wizarding world of Harry Potter.  Thank you J.K. Rowling, I look forward to sharing your story with my children in the years to come.  Thank you for inspiring me to write on.

P.S. The title is in reference to one of my favorite scenes in HP 6 - if you are wondering, check out the scene where Harry take the liquid luck.....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Just a song lyric today....sums up my mood for the day

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Black bird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
all your life
you were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly, Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Got to love the Beatles....I think that I would use the Beatles and Tom Petty to soundtrack my life....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thinking more on the Children's Series....

I am thinking middle school aged, or possibly more for younger kids who read at a higher level.  My daughter just finished kindergarten but reads at a 3rd grade level (no idea where she got that from, ha ha ha) and it is hard to find age appropriate subject matter that is at a challenging reading level!  I would love to put out a series for kids like her!

P.S. Autumn thinks this is a fabulous idea and has decided that the cover should feature pictures of her - she even drew a cover for me.  I think I am going to have to work on this for her!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Children's series?

So, I know I am working on the Estelan series and I love it - feeling very passionate about it no doubt about that - but I was talking with my daughter today, well, more listening to her incessant talking.  Anyway, I came up with the idea for a children's series that I would love to write and I am wondering what everyone thinks about it.  So, here is the idea - a series about my kiddo.  I figured that since her nickname is/has been Peanut, since she was the size of a peanut, I could name the series for her.  Of course, she has to have a little brother named Mad Socks.  When I discussed this with Autumn she was very excited and informed me that she would gladly provide me with all the material I would need. 

That said, Peanut would need to have many adventures (say bushwacking in Alaska?) and I believe that Mad Socks would echo a lot of what she does....any thoughts?

Friday, July 8, 2011


Wow, what a varied world we live in!  Nothing reminds me more than the feedback I receive on things I post on forums - too long, too short, too much description, too little description, even the names of my characters (and I really like the names of my main characters!).  It is almost more difficult to figure out which way to go when people offer completely opposite responses.  This is my first attempt at this and I am truly just sticking my toe into this industry so working a query letter is daunting at best, and of course, me being as I am, chose to write a manuscript from multiple points of view.  I wonder sometimes if I should shelve this again and try something less involved and ride that out for a bit, as my jumping in piece.  There are a hundred ideas running through my head as I type this....but am I just procrastinating or is it a good idea???  Any responses/insight are welcome!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beautiful days, sleepless nights

I would have used the cliche "sleepless in Seattle" but I am not a fan of the term.  Normally I sleep quite well in this bustling metropolis with the glorious mountains and gentle breeze.  Tonight is still, no sirens, limited street traffic, and a stunning sunset.  I cannot sleep.  I am exhausted.  Sleep however does not want to cozy up with me as it already has with my children.  Is it wrong to be jealous of my children?  I am.  They are completely out, dreaming of summer vacation and, in my son's case, Cars 2. 

I am sitting here pouring over my query letter, feeling a little ADD and roving over a few pages of my manuscript as well.  Restless.  A little warmer than I like to be and certainly wishing my good friend sleep would decide to wipe out the racing thoughts in my head - where should Kriton go next, should I use Loki instead, should I query from a different character's vantage point?  The questions go on, frustratingly with few answers.  That's it.  That is my problem.  Sleep's arch enemy - writer's block.  EEK!  I said it.  The worst thing to happen to a writer!  I was sleeping just fine when the story poured out of my head faster than my poor fingers could dictate it.  Now that I am at the end, the labor-intensive editing phase (yes it is my fourth revision and yes I have added over 4,000 pages the last few days) sleep has become evasive and my characters have become invasive and demanding, not necessarily in that order. 

Perhaps if I can simply purge a few of these ideas into my bedside journal my characters will be satisfied to allow sleep to fold me into her (his?) arms and take me to that place where I can dream of margaritas and fajitas on the patio of a delightful Seattle restaurant - what are the chances of that?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The end of a lovely vacation....

Gorgeous weather, time with my kids, excellent food and drink, and even time to work on my manuscript.  All in all it was a pretty grand time and a much needed break from the everyday grind that wears me down.  I dread what my desk will look like (figuratively of course) when I go back tomorrow but for five days I was able to enjoy myself.  It felt pretty grand.  Now I sit here, watching the sun set behind the Space Needle, a small crescent moon smiling at me from above, and a soft breeze tickling my legs as it rolls in from the balcony.  It is about time to stretch out on the couch and let my mind soar - hopefully to pick up the bridges I need to finish off my new additions to FALL OF IA. 

Again, many thanks to all those who support me in this venture, it means more than I can put into words - and that is saying something!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters...

One of my absolute favorite Elton John songs - made semi-famous by Almost Famous, which happens to be one of my favorite movies.  Funny story about Almost Famous, when it was released I was working at a video store and I saw the previews/trailers for it more than my fair share of times so I vehemently opposed watching it.  However, since it was a terribly popular my boss insisted that I view the film so that I could provide "educated feedback to our customers" - do not get me started on the idiocy of that statement.  Regardless, I watched said film and was absolutely enchanted.  I saw myself in William, longed to be as lusted after as Penny Lane, and envied the immeasurable talent and swagger of Russell Hammond.  I returned to work educated on the cinema-worthiness of Almost Famous and proceeded to sing its praises to anyone who inquired.  My coworkers recalled my opposition and quickly called my bluff - only to find that they too were mislead by the ridiculous previews/trailers that had been forcefed to us through store monitors.  I do have a point in this, I promise!  While my query letters and first few chapters may not be the best example of what I can do, my manuscript is worth something.  It will surprise you if given a chance.  Here's to all the agents and publishers out there - and any naysayers, I know a few for sure - the packaging is not always the best indicator of a stellar piece of work.  Almost Famous, in my top ten movies of all time, and that is saying something when the films ahead of it include the Lord of the Rings trilogy, V for Vendetta, and Breakfast at Tiffany's.  I hope you all take a chance to check out some of what I am doing, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 3rd of July!

As beautiful as yesterday was, today is at best "blah."  However, looks to be a glorious week of mid-70s and sun so how can I complain?  I did get to write some more yesterday, got some good feedback on the alternate intro - it will take my manuscript in an entirely different direction - but I think it will be beneficial in the end.  The fact that the rough skeleton is already more exciting and fluid than its predecessor is a good sign.  Hope to have to updated alternate up and running within the week. 

I truly hope that everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend as much as I am - off to do a little shopping with the punkins - and then some more strawberry margs and excellent food!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

New Prologue & First Chapter - let me know what you think!


Ia was fading.  Her grasp on reality was slipping almost as quickly as her physical form. She stumbled through Dor Wood, cursing her brothers with every step.  No food for days, no sign of her sisters in many annuals, and Bian had nearly captured her last eve.  Ia cursed him most of all.  He was her twin, the Darkness that balanced her Light.  It was Bian who had started the war, not two hours after their Father abandoned them.  The memory was crushing, but tears would not come.  Ia fell to her knees and screamed out in the night, shred her clothes and let the fade claim her form once again.
She materialized at the edge of Panei’s main settlement.  Kriton was waiting for her with a cloak and Loki thrust a few pieces of jerky in her hand.  Ia collapsed into Kriton’s waiting arms, the warmth seeped into her aching bones, pain flared even though he cradled her gently.  Kriton always smelled of nature, she inhaled at the risk of more pain, and half smiled. 
“My Goddess, you are weak.  What has happened?”  Loki’s velveteen voice grounded her.
“Bian nearly caught me, Child.”  Ia cringed at how hoarse her own voice sounded.  She attempted to clear her throat without successs, the rawness burning at the effort.
“Do not speak Goddess, we have a safe room for you.  Lor has a pallet and teas for your pleasure.  We will heal you, my promises.”  Kriton’s warm breath in her ear did little to reassure the ache in her core.  Bian was coming for her.  She could feel him, feel the fear that crept along the edges of the minds around her.  Kriton and Loki were concerned, not just for her weakness but for the spoiled harvests and poisoned streams.  There was something more, something they did not wish her to know.  Ia was too weak to pry it from their minds. 
“We will tell you soon enough Goddess, please, rest and replenish your strength first.”  Loki nodded solemnly, “We are not far but I think a cloaking spell would benefit us all.”  He muttered a short incantation and Ia felt the ripple of magic tickle across her skin.  The short walked seemed to last for hours, agonizing even in the safe comfort of Kriton’s arms. 
“Here we are.”
Ia forced her heavy eyelids open, the morning light of the ivory suns was brighter than the dark of eve but still dampened by the growing strength of Bian and the brothers.  Beyond the glare, her eyes found the ruins of a once grand manor, shutters were missing and the ones that remained were broken and faded, the onyx trim was cracked in many places and the once crimson roof was not only faded but half-collapsed. 
“It is not so bad Goddess, most of us survived the attack.  Wounds may heal and homes may be rebuilt.  I have already begun the interior work but we decided that the exterior should remain as such.  Your brothers rarely return to completely raze a home.”  Kriton pushed open the entry cautiously, the creak echoed in the quiet day and Ia realized their were no creatures stirring in the yards.  Her eyes went wide with understanding as Kriton carried her over the threshold.  
The hearthroom was plain but crammed full of cots and pallets.  Ia noted many familiar faces milling about, grim and worn down.  Loki cleared his throat and the entire crowd went still.  They bowed low in unison and Ia nodded with all she could muster.  Kriton walked the length of the room and placed her in a pallet near the barely glowing embers of the hearthfire.
“We keep it low My Goddess, to avoid notice.  Apologies for the chill but we have many pelts ready for your use.  Please, allow me to help you with some teas.”  Lor’s voice was melodic and ended the awkward moment.  Ia smiled weakly and opened her cracked lips enough to take in the warm liquid.  It spread quickly through her body and she felt slightly better.  Lor knelt beside her, large brown eyes so like her sister Misa, the young woman’s mother.  Ia lifted a hand to the child’s face, no longer that of a youth, nearly a woman grown. 
“My Goddess, if you please, we would share with you our idea while you drink.  Your energies should replenish quickly and I fear we have little time.”
Ia nodded to Kriton and allowed Lor to give her more tea. 
“The animals have all fled or died of pestilence, the rivers are tainted with poisons and we run low on the elements to conjure fresh waters.  Bain has taken to kidnapping and torturing those who have aided you in the past.  Loki has suggested we take leave of our world, abandon it to the Darkness of Bian and start anew.  Do you believe you can cloak us with the aid of a few?”
Ia took the chalice from Lor, her hands solid and full of feeling for the first time in days.  She nibbled a piece of jerk and contemplated the option.  It could work, certainly with a few hours of rest and a few floras she could do such a thing.  Ia recalled her father’s departure, the incantations and potions, indeed if the children possessed the ingredients it would take little effort.  But –
“My Goddess, we understand the gravity of what we ask.  You will have to leave your sisters.”
Loki’s words mirrored her thoughts and even his sweet tone could not stay the splintering pain that passed through her core.  Her sisters would be abandoned to the vile tortures of her brothers.  The thought left her, replaced by the idea that these were her sisters’ children, the First Ones, asking for salvation.  How selfish was she to mourn her sisters knowing they would lose their mothers as well.  Which is worse?  Tears sprang to her eyes; Ia nearly dropped the chalice.
“Goddess!?”  The First Ones’ voices rang in her ears, their unfailing love as clear as their concern.  Ia closed her eyes, blinked back the tears and sipped from the chalice once more.  Calling on the strength of her father, Ia rose steadily and allowed her Light to shine upon the First Ones.
“Children of my sisters, you have long stood by us in this war, even as your mothers were taken.  I cannot last against my brothers, this you well know.  If you are prepared to take your leave and enter the unknown then I will go as well.  We will forge a new world, free of the Darkness that has taken Panei.”
“We follow you Goddess, always.”  Loki stepped forward first and bowed low.  Ia dispatched instructions for all the necessary items and asked for some privacy to prepare herself.   Kriton led her down a half-finished hallway to a small, nearly bare room. 
“Apologies for the starkness Goddess, this is the only room that is finished beyond the hearthroom, but it will offer you fair solitude.  Lor will bring you a pot of tea and I will make certain none disrupt you beyond that.”  Kriton bowed low and made to exit.
“My thanks Kriton, you bring pride on your mother.  Please see that they are all ready by nightfall.”
“Aye My Goddess, it will be done as you instruct.”  Kriton disappeared and Ia was alone.  She sized up her surroundings, nothing the stellar craftsmanship.  The only sign that repairs had been made lay in the unfinished paneling and charred bits of flooring.  Ia settled upon the sole piece of furniture, a slightly worn settee.  She recognized the ornately carved frame and plush velvet upholstery.  The piece had once been hers, a gift from Kriton before the war, before her father left.  Ia let her thoughts drift to her father for a brief moment and then grounded herself in the task at hand, somehow strengthened by his memory.  She spent the remainder of the day in deep focus, rehearsing the proper words and storing her energies. 
Shortly before nightfall, Ia sent for the First Ones with cloaking abilities.  It took a matter of mins to instruct them in the manner of cloak she intended to invoke.  Ia led them back to the hearthroom and detailed the necessities to the rest.  As the ivory suns set, Ia led the First Ones to the side yard and within moments they were flying through the skies in the guise of a meteor shower.  Ia looked back once as she heard the cries of her sisters as they sensed her departure, then they were silent. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

The first day of a long weekend...

Aaaaahhh, it feels wonderful to be off work for five days in a row!  Today was a "get it all done" kind of day so I am ready for the rest of the weekend.  Planning to get some writing done tonight which should feel pretty great - pop on some tunes and let it all go! - after the kids hit the sack that is.  There is a delicious bottle of beer chilling in the fridge (two actually) and I have some Adele downloaded to my iPod...I am so ready to write!

By the way, rejection count = 4.