Friday, January 29, 2010

Picasso blog award


Thank you to Carol for the lovely Picasso award. I am to state seven facts about myself, and then pass it on to seven other bloggers. Very random things about me:


1. I am always cold. Except when I’m sweating. There is no interim. Actually, if I’m sweating I can still have cold fingers and feet. So back to always cold.


2. My very first novel was started on a typewriter back in fourth or fifth grade. It was about a Chinese boy and a dragon. Chi-Chi Maco and the Dragon Queen. I no longer have the typed pages, so not sure how far I got, but I have the first two handwritten pages. Here’s what is labeled as preface, but is more likely a prologue:

In the beginning, before there was man, a dragon ruled all the earth. Her name was Mica. She owned a fortress filled with great treasures. When man first came, the dragons built a new fortress in the sky, where man couldn’t reach them. Thereafter it was rare for one to be seen.

I don’t think the story had a plot other than the boy and dragon adventuring together.


3. For the longest time, my favorite actors were the three Jonathans: Jonathan Jackson (still love him, music and acting), Jonathan Brandis (loved him in SeaQuest!, sadly, he died in 2003) and Jonathan Taylor Thomas (grew out of this one). For some reason, my husband didn’t want me to name our boy Jonathan…


4. I could live in a world without phones. I cringe anytime the phone rings. I don’t even call my parents on a regular basis. I communicate much better through email and in person. My brain always goes blank on a call. Calling businesses is the worst. Surprisingly, I worked at two jobs doing calls, one incoming and one out. Wasn’t as bad, as none were cold calls and I always had a script to follow. Whereas I had boyfriends complain because I wanted them to do all the talking during phone calls. My hope is for an agent who will let me communicate mainly through email.


5. I like to eat what I call a breakfast sandwich: a piece of toast with cinnamon on one half, jam on the other, which I fold around a scrambled egg. Yum.


6. Back in Junior High I had a typing class with another Mary. We both wanted to be writers, so gave ourselves pen names. Mine was Daphne Starlight. I’m still fond of Daphne, but Starlight?? Whatever was I thinking?

7. I get most of my writing breakthroughs while laying in bed trying to sleep. Then I have to annoy my husband by getting back out of bed to write it down.


Okay, those got kind of long. I guess I don’t have to also tell you I tend to ramble.

I hereby award the Picasso Award to:

  1. Little Scribbler
  2. Wendy at Where Ladybugs Roar 
  3. Shannon at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe 
  4. Nikki
  5. Lynn at I’d Type a Little Faster
  6. Scott William Carter
  7. Liana

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Tally and the sick saga

Goals for last week:

  • write one scene per weekday. TC scenes have been averaging 700 words, so that would be around 3500 words
  • send out more queries
  • submit at least 3 poems – 6 sent

What really happened:

Tuesday evening I felt tired and achy. The next morning I was definitely sick. Sore throat, fever, runny nose, cough. Was sick all week. Ugh. Still got a lingering cough, but feeling much better. I didn’t get any writing done though.


What kept me sane while I sniffled and sneezed:

Playing Gyromancer.

Finished reading The Pit Dragon Trilogy by Jane Yolen.

Finished my follow ups. Sent emails about poetry, made phone call about health insurance issue, etc.

Sent out queries and poems.

Following all the clues and revelations for The Secret World on the forums. There were tweets and scripture clues and website hunts. Fun following all the theories. And keeping up with the 70 pages of forum. No way I’d go back and read that after. Starting while it was only a few pages long, and refreshing every five minutes while sick and not doing much else? No problem.


Goals for this week:

  • send out more queries
  • joined a challenge on to add 10,000 words to my novel (TC) this week. Need to make up for not writing last week.
  • hunt down and post all blog awards to sidebar


I’m glad you all enjoyed my excerpt last week. That was my first time writing in Bridget’s POV. Was quite fun. My current challenge is figuring out how to start the next chapter. I know what happens, and who’s point of view, just not sure when to pick back up. What I really want to write is the second half of the chapter. I need to suck it up and write the first scene. Ooh, maybe I should utilize Write or Die to get it out of the way without over-analyzing it.

Later this week: blog award. Time to get a little boy ready for school, and then I have much to do.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday Tally: Trinity Coven

I wrote some really fun scenes in Trinity Coven last week. I itched to write last Friday, but my son was out of school, and it didn’t happen. Looking forward to getting to the next chapter this afternoon. I know my two beta readers are eager to read it. Pressure! Good pressure.

Goals for this week:

  • write one scene per weekday. TC scenes have been averaging 700 words, so that would be around 3500 words
  • send out more queries
  • submit at least 3 poems


Excerpt from last week’s writing (warning, this is rough draft):


Bridget shrugged to keep her shopping bag from falling down her shoulder, while she maneuvered to get her phone from her purse. She glanced at the reflection in the store window. Still there. She spoke Maralah's name into the phone. Thank the goddesses for voice recognition, but she was beginning to see why Maralah liked her bluetooth.

When she finally answered, Bridget cut through the small talk. "I'm being followed. Don't know if he knows who I really am, or I just have a really cute stalker. Kinda young though."

"How young?"

Bridget tilted her phone to take a picture over her shoulder. Lanky but not awkward. Gorgeous full head of black hair. Face narrow, mouth firm. She lingered over it for a moment, then sent it to Maralah. "Not young enough to keep me from getting to know him." If only she had changed into a dress instead of remaining in her pilot suit. Hopefully he liked a girl in uniform.

Heat flickered through her mind. Bridget listened to its warning. She murmured half to herself and half to the fire, "He's still a boy. Even if he is a warlock, I should be able to handle him." Maralah answered the statement not meant for her. "We are not yet complete. Don't get too cocky."

Bridget rolled her eyes. "You both need to trust me." She hung up the phone and dropped it into her purse. A cafe sprawled onto the sidewalk at the next corner. Perfect. Bridget dropped bag onto one of the tables. A glance back showed the young man stepping into the shadow of a neighboring awning. She turned to stare at him fully. He took a step back and avoided her gaze. Coward.

Eyes not leaving his face, Bridget walked right up to him. He started when she grabbed his hand. "I've seen you admiring me. Don't be shy."

Monday, January 18, 2010

Going Green for more Green

When you realize your income just isn’t keeping up with your expenses anymore, it’s time to make a change. Buying a house has brought lots of change and adjustment. Our most recent is selling the car. Since the car was still rather new and in good condition (bought it in August), CarMax gave us an awesome deal. We were able to pay off the negative equity and still have money left in savings.

No car means no car payment, no car insurance, no gas money, no upkeep. We figure we’ll save around $400 a month. Last Monday my husband took the day off, and we had our adventure. Bought him a bus pass, did a trial run of the route to work, and then went shopping to stock up so we don’t need to shop as often. Then my mother-in-law met him at CarMax and we did it. Sold the car.

It sure was an exhausting week, as we walked more and dealt with finances. But we’re happy with our decision. Now we’ll actually have money for savings again. And can afford to do more on the house – updating appliances, get the rest of the windows replaced by next winter, etc – which will save us even more money in the long run, as our house becomes more energy efficient.

Another benefit, we’ll be in better shape. We can’t just stop and get fast food because we’re out and about. And, well, the walking. I’m more used to that than my husband, as I walk my son to and from school every day. Poor hubby was sure sore by the end of Friday. 

At least there’s a benefit to not being terribly social. Less outings and places we need to drive.

All in all, having no car will take getting used to. Better to buffer our finances before we’re in trouble rather than struggle to repair them. And with all going on in Haiti, we’re grateful for how much we do have.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Contest alert!

I only found out about this yesterday, but there’s still time to enter! It’s Lisa Schroeder week over on Shannon’s blog. Visit the contest post to learn how to win Lisa Schroeder’s three verse novels. These are going on my to-buy list if I don’t win. So head over there, enter the contest, and join in the fun. Deadline is 11:59 pm PST on Sunday January 17th.



What are you waiting for? Head on over and tell Shannon I sent you. ;-)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Celebrating Poetry

Shannon Messenger is hosting a poetry blogging day. I thought I would join in the fun. I am a poet after all. I wrote the following poem/song for my fantasy novel Emergence of the Fey. Though the song itself does not appear in the book, it is referenced. The form is a Kyrielle.


The fourth moon (month) in the realm of Dashevona is Courtship Moon. It is the first moon of summer and the traditional month for courting. Those single and at least fifteen years in age are given more leeway this month, with less responsibility. The first night of Courtship is the ritual dancing and exchange of gifts.

The Human belief is that the Earth created everyone Herself. Her courtship with the moon causes magic in the world. When their dance is strongest (full moon), magic is strongest.

Excerpt: The song was a variation of the usual Courtship song, a familiar tale of boy meets girl. She had intended to watch and learn from the dancers, but she couldn't take her eyes off of Cail. He did have a gift. The rise and fall of his voice put her in a trance. He didn't stop the song after the third verse, but began singing a fourth one that was new to her.


Courtship Song

A tale I sing of girl meets boy

He labored in her pa's employ

With wooden flute he played a tune

They danced under the Courtship Moon


They walked and talked, their love grew swift

One day he shared a precious gift

A golden pendant, meant to swoon

They danced under the Courtship Moon


A picnic meal down by the lake

Where he proposed her hand to take

With hearts yearning to marry soon

They danced under the Courtship Moon


From out of darkness came a birth

And Moon looked down on Mother Earth

His heart smitten, he took a chance

As Earth and Moon resume their dance


With one full turn, from left to right

He courted her most every night

Then with a nod, they each advance

As Earth and Moon resume their dance


From birth, to marriage, then to death

Their love makes magic with each breath

An endless cycle of romance

As Earth and Moon resume their dance

Monday, January 4, 2010

Tuesday Tally: Projects update for new year


still querying

goal: query agents until TC finished and polished, then (if still not picked up) move on to publishers (inc small presses, e-books)



writing in progress, about one-fourth the way through.

goal: finish by end of March



mostly on hold while I finish other projects.

goal: focus on in second half of year



Incomplete NaNoWriMo novel. One-third done.

goal: finish this year


My Palette of Color

14/20 poems for chapbook

goal: finish by April

get feedback, ready for submission in June


Other projects on sidelines

Sienna’s Story: placeholder title for portal fantasy

The Blazing Princess: novelette waiting expansion to novel form


I’m going to give each month a general focus. January is Review and Follow Up. I have some poetry submissions hanging in the ether, one that was held for final consideration. I need to send nudges, find out what the status is. I also need to send emails to my Frosted Paths group, see how everyone did with their goals last year.

As for non-writing goals:

  • Read two books each month. Include more new(er) releases in my TBR list.
  • be more consistent in reading to my son every day
  • exercise 3 times a week (going to work back up to this one)
  • have better posture
  • find a way to supplement our income