Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hilariousness

It's late and I should be sleeping right now, but since I can't I wanted to share a pretty awesome site with all of my followers that are also writers. It's hilarious. Lots of gifs and laughing. I promise. It's called Title To Come. And seriously, if you're a writer and haven't stumbled upon it yet, you have to check it out! Go on, smiling is good for you!!


Also, this is a little late, but I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! One of my sisters and her little family came into town and we had a great but busy (hence lack of posts lately) time with them! Loved it. And now, I hope you all stay safe and sane with the coming holiday season!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Winners!

Sorry this post is a little late. The hubby travels a lot, so I tend to be greedy with my days when he is home and not do much (blogs, twitter, writing, ect) during the time he's here. Anyway, on to the winners, and they are: 

Prize Pack 1: Shar Simms!

Prize Pack 2: Kipha! 

Congrats and I hope you guys enjoy the books!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!


I'm participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop! Yay! I mean, it's Halloween and book prizes! What could be better?! 

So check out the details and enter. And thanks to I am a Reader, Not a Writer and Diary of a Bookworm for hosting this giveaway hop!

My rules are simple!
-Enter below in the comments
-Include your email so I can contact you if you win! [ Like this: booksare(at)great(dot)com ]
-No need to be a follower, though that's always nice :)
-Contest runs until October 31st. I'll pick a random winner and announce shortly after.
-Check out all the other blogs hosting giveaways! (not mandatory, but why not?!) 
-U.S. giveaway only

The prizes!
 I'm going to give away YA 2 prize packs, and they are:



Prize 1:
The first four books (paperback) in the Dark Guardian series.






Prize 2:
A copy of A Touch Mortal (hardback) and a copy of Devoured (paperback)





Happy Halloween everyone and check out all the other blogs participating! There are over 400 participating blogs, which means tons and tons of prizes! Go click-crazy on the links below!~ *Linky is closed*

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Life of a Manuscript.

This is what happens to me during the process of writing a manuscript. (Doctor Who edition!)



When you get that shiny new idea and start writing it.


After tackling those first few chapters.



Then realizing the story you had plotted has something seriously wrong with it.



And freaking out about it.


So you talk to your CPs and all you can say is, I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!




Then one (or several) of your amazing CP helps you figure it out.




But then that get's fixed and you still feel like you'll never finish.


And somehow you make it halfway through your draft!


But then you realize that you still have half left to write.



And your story decides to take an unexpected turn.



And you have no idea where that turn came from or where to go from there. 


But somehow you make it through and only have the ending left!


And now you're trying to tie all those loose pieces together.


And it finally works.


Then you finish your draft!!










And then you remember you still have to revise and edit everything.



Happy Monday followers!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Hello again!

Hello again lovely readers. I know I've been absent from this blog for quite a bit this last month or so and I'm sorry about that. I was planning on doing a blog post yesterday for all of you, but, well, that didn't work out. Instead, I thought I'd give you a quick update of my life (and slight explanation for my absent).

1. I've been going through a lot of personal sad stuff this last month that had me away from the internet for a bit, but mostly left feeling uninspired/disinterested in writing up blog posts or doing writing on my manuscript. Have no fear though readers, I'm moving through it and getting back into writing and everything else.

2. School started back up, so life is just a little busier now that I'm back at work teaching kids. It's tiring running around with them all day. But I love it.

3. I am officially an Editorial Assistant for Spencer Hill Press. Eek. I love saying that. :) It's a lot of fun and work and a great learning experience.

4. I'd planned on putting up a post related to general writing stuff yesterday, BUT then I ended up in a car accident (not too bad. I'm not hurt, but I crunched my car up a bit) and I ended up having to deal with all of that instead of getting on blogger.

5. Blogger has changed their layout and I don't like. Hence a bit more of my reluctance to use it. I'm slowly learning the new layout though. (Also, tried to find a picture of Doctor Who when he goes back to Craig's house [During the Cybermen episode where Craig has his baby-Stormageddon!] and the doctor looks in and says 'Did you redecorate? I don't like it.' but I couldn't find a picture of it. *sad face* And a million brownie points to any of you that know what episode I'm talking about.)

And that's what's been going on during my blog absence. What about you guys? Anything you've done that's been awesome and hopefully not sucky instead?

Friday, August 31, 2012

GUTGAA Meet & Greet!

GUTGAA is Gearing Up To Get An Agent! You can learn more about it here! But in general it's a pretty awesome opportunity and contest for writers! Check it out, lovelies!

Today is the Meet and Greet part! And here are my answers to the questions they posted for us to do!


-Where do you write?
Now that I have my desk set-up again, I usually write there. Otherwise, occasionally at on my couch or bed.

-Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
My husband's desk.

-Favorite time to write?
Whenever I have time alone.

-Drink of choice while writing?
Mountain Dew or Coke (caffeine!)

-When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
Music! Usually with headphones. (Lately it's been just Mumford & Sons, Manchester Orchestra, and Of Monsters & Men on repeat! But I have had specific playlists for MSs before)

-What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
My job. I work with kids with autism and my new manuscript is about a girl with a younger brother that has autism.

-What's your most valuable writing tip?
Make sure to have at least one (or a few!) crit partner that meshes well with you. Someone that can push you to keep writing even when it's hard and will help and encourage you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Write On Con Wrap-up

I know I'm a bit late for doing a wrap-up on WriteOnCon since it was last week, but I have valid reasons! I promise! (I was really sick. And my summer break ended. I'm back at the real job again)

Last week, WriteOnCon started. It's a *free* online writing conference, with forums for you to post your work, little workshops, and PLENTY of events. Plus, secret agents (known as ninja agents) go through the forums and request things they might like! What's not to love about this conference, really?! And if you didn't join this year, no worries! They plan to have it next year as well!

I was super excited for WriteOnCon this year. Before the conference actually started, they opened the forums to writers so we could post our work and get feedback from each other. I totally did this. And it was great. I put up my last finished manuscript along with my current work in progress (a contemporary). I put up my query letter, first 25o words, and 1st five pages for each work and got a ton of encouragement and feedback. (Usually, if you're nice and comment/help someone else, they'll return the favor). Also, if an ninja agents wants to, they can comment with their own advice as well. I got one of those for each of my works as well.

And because of this feedback, I fixed/reworked/improved my queries and first pages. I think they're a lot stronger, and I wouldn't have been able to do that or really realize what needed help without the eyes of those people that were seeing my work fresh and new. I've said before how much I think it's necessary to have a really good critique partner or two (or more) that you connect with and can work well with, but sometimes you also need someone new to look at your work. Sometimes it's those people that see what you and your CPs can't because you've all become too close the the work.

Aside from the forum feedback, there were a lot of events with agents and editors and authors giving advice or doing critiques/pitches/ect. I couldn't follow along with a lot of these (here's one of my reasons for my wrap-up being so late) because I ended up getting pretty sick the NIGHT BEFORE the conference. Sucky timing! I ended up going to the hospital and basically sleeping through the conference. I think I checked the forums obsessively anytime I was awake, but I couldn't follow the events they had. (Luckily, you can catch up and read/watch some of them! Follow my WriteOnCon link at the top of this post!). I've been slowly going through and reading the articles and watching some of the videos. LOTS of great advice for writers!

So, all in all? WriteOnCon was amazing and you should definitely join in on the fun next year if you're a writer! I might have come out of it with a couple requests for my MS! They were surprise requests too! (to me at least lol) because they were for my Work in Progress (the contemp). At the most, I was expecting to get just some feedback from other writers. Instead, I got two requests for it and one comment from a ninja agent on there that just really touched me. It was a the kind of comment that was so uplifting that it makes me want to *always* strive in my writing to live up to it. And now, I'm gonna go write some more! Gotta finish this WiP!

WriteOnCon was amazing and so, so many wonderful people made it that way.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Be Inspired

Hey guys! So, I was tagged in a meme called Be Inspired where I'm supposed to answer some questions about my manuscript, and here they are!


Q. What is the name of your book?

A. Veritas (it means truth in Latin)


Q. Where did the idea for your book come from?

A. Probably from my husband's obsession with zombies. There aren't zombies in my book, but there are creepy people that attack others. They aren't undead though.


Q. In what genre would you classify it?

A. It's a young adult sci-fi


Q. If you had to pick actors to portray your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?

A. I don't know about actors, but I do search for photos of people online that are similar to my characters. Here are some pictures that remind me of my characters.

Two pictures of my main character, Tori. (ignore the dude in the second picture)

Tori's best friend, Declan.

And her other friend, Vi.



Q. Give us a short synopsis of your book.

A. When a virus turns Tori's crewmates violent, she’ll do anything to save her family and her crush, Declan. Leaving Earth was supposed to give them a future—not a death sentence. Or so they were told.


Q. How long did it take you to write it?

A. I started writing it in July 2011 and finished the first draft around February 2012 then did revisions and edits for a few months and now I'm in the process of sending queries out to agents and waiting.


Q. What other books in the same genre would you compare it to?

A. Probably Across the Universe by Beth Revis and Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder, they're both YA sci-fi set in space as well. AtU also has a bit of death and mystery in it like Veritas.


Q. What authors inspired you to write it?

A. The only author I can think of that helped inspire me to write Veritas is Carrie Ryan. She wrote The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy and it was just a beautifully written book for having such a creepy subject (zombies).


Q. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.

A. Zombie-esque people. Hot best friend boy. Secrets & Lies. Hidden motivations. Being lost among the stars and yourself.

And just because I have them, here are some more pictures that remind me of my story.






And now I get to tag some people! Danielle Ellison, Patricia Riley, Melissa Hurst, Summer Heacock, and Lucas Croft.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Connecting with Other Writers

Earlier this month I wrote a post about online contests for writers and I kinda wanted to expand on that. Not necessarily about the contests themselves, but about the people you can meet from doing them.

I entered quite a few pitch contests and such in the last few weeks and after the first few, I realized there were names and pitches I was starting to remember from the other contests. Well, somehow late one night several of us that had gotten requests from one of the contests were all on twitter together in a hashtag and we started talking. It was really neat to get to know these people that had been strangers to me before these contests. We encouraged each other, speculated on on-going contests, and just enjoyed each other's virtual company.

Well, one thing lead to another, and now amazingly enough a core group of four of us ended up starting our own group. On twitter we're the #twitwits and on facebook we have a group on there under the same name. Since starting this group, we have worked together to get a contest of our own ready (since that's what brought us together--it's still being finalized, but when it's ready I will post more about it!), we've added people to the group, and started a section on our FB group to share critiques. It's pretty amazing the support that everyone shows on it and I'm so glad to be a part of it. Soon we're even hoping to have our own site/forum/blog/thing.

It's been an amazing experience meeting these people, learning about them, working together, and just encouraging each other. So if there's any advice I can offer to you all, it's to get out there--in person, online, or both!--and meet other writers. Share your experiences and offer support. There really is nothing quite like having a group of people you can go to that will understand you and all the craziness that comes with writing. So go on, join those contests for the prizes AND the people, get to know those bloggers you follow, find friends on twitter (the hashtag chats are an awesome way to do this!), or whatever else you need to. There's an amazing community of writers out there waiting for you to join in!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Baby Cuteness!

Erm. So I was gonna do an actual post related to writing, but I'm actually on vacation (and by vacation, I mean I'm help my twin sis with her toddler b/c she just had a new baby!) and I'm also busy getting some awesome stuff ready (writing contest) with some amazing people.

So instead of an intellectual post about one writing technique over another (or some such thing like that!), I'll just bribe you all to stay tuned with adorable baby pictures and teasers about the upcoming awesomeness headed this way. This contest is bigger than just my blog and is full of WIN, by the way!

So without further ado, CUTE BABIES!




Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pitches, and Contests, and Nerves! Oh my!

Oh man, guys. I'm sorry I haven't posted anything lately. (I feel like I've said that the last few posts) BUT this time I kinda of have a reason. I've been in the process of moving from one house to another and it was a lot of work. Plus, it's the end of the school year and that's always a little busier for me with getting everything finished up with my students and getting stuff ready for summer school too. Anyway, on to today's post!

I gotta be honest here, guys. I kind of struggled with deciding to write up this post or not. On one side, I didn't want it to come off like bragging, and on the other side, it forces me to open up and expose myself a bit. Let me explain.

See, the other week, there was a contest on Twitter. It was a pitch contest under the hashtag #WVTP where, within a certain time frame, you could pitch your manuscript to several agents that would be reading the thread. (If you don't know what a pitch is, it's a quick sentence or two about your ms that should entice the reader to it)

(why yes, I found the strangest photo of a pitch that I could. And no, sadly, I am not really a Star Wars fan. But my twin sister--so it's kinda like me-- is, if that makes up for it.)

Well, I randomly saw someone in my feed tweet their pitch and it made me wonder why because at that point, I didn't know about the contest. So I went onto the hashtag and then the host's website and found out more about it. The problem was, the contest closed at 6pm and it was 5:30pm! The contest closed a 1/2 hour after I first learned about it. I kind of debating on even trying. Sooo many people were already entered and I didn't even have a pitch ready!

But you know what? I figured, why not? The worst that could happen is that my pitch gets ignored, right?

This is why it's so important to know your story, fully know it. If you need to reduce 80+ thousand words into just a sentence or two, you gotta know the heart and focus of your story.

So that's what I did. I threw a pitch out there (3 versions actually) and the last one got me the interest of 2 agents! (I feel very blessed and lucky too, because it was literally the last minute of the contest that this happened.)

I was ecstatic and nervous! (Who wouldn't be, right?!) I almost couldn't believe it!


And then I found out about another pitch contest (on YALITCHAT.org A great site for writers. Check it out! I think they're also having another pitch contest in July). This one gave a little more leeway in the length of the pitch. So, I entered that contest too. This one is still kind of going on actually. You can't enter anymore, but the agents are still commenting and such on the entries.

One agent (so far--that I know of) that's participating in this contest has seen my pitch and she asked to see some pages also. Again, ecstatic and nervous! This time I really couldn't believe it. (I may have danced around like a crazy woman each time one of these agents requested pages)

And here's the part where I feel exposed. Because as exciting and amazing as it is to have agents request pages from a pitch, they could still pass on my project. And I don't want to have to follow up with everyone that I told about this and tell them that the agents all passed.

But ya know what? Even if that happens, I'm still thankful for the experience. (And here's the real reason for this post.) I'm so grateful that I entered these contests because it's not just about the agents. THEY ARE AMAZING, don't get me wrong! But through this I've learned how to condense my story into a quick line or three. I've learned how to write a richer pitch that's enticing to read. And I've met some spectacular and supportive people from it that I never would have otherwise! I whole-heartedly encourage any of you out there that have a manuscript that you've edited/revised/polished-the-crap-out-of, and believe is ready for agents to look at, to search online and enter contests like these. Pitch contests, or first few pages/chapters, ect. Doesn't matter! They are an opportunity with multifaceted rewards that are just waiting for you. It's scary to put yourself (and your work) out there, but I believe it's worth the risk.

So go on! And have fun doing it!


(And if you want to know how I handle waiting [like with the responses from these agents] then check out my post on the Tangled blog!)



Monday, April 30, 2012

Editing, Obstacles, and When I'm Not Writing

Man, I've been a terrible blogger lately. I haven't posted much besides a few contests, have I? Sorry about that, guys. The reason is, mostly, because of edits.

I have been doing edits and edits and edits and more edits. Whenever I wasn't working, that's what I was doing. For the most part. And now I'm done them! Yay! It's pretty nice to be able to step back and calm down with my writing for a bit (especially since I'm moving soon and need that time to pack and all). Next comes querying. I may have already sent a couple out, but that's a post for another time. (Querying is scary.)

Anyway, so there's this obstacle course run that I'm going to be doing next month called Warrior Dash. It's 3 miles with lots of stuff besides just running. Like fire hurdles, mud and barb wire crawls, balancing stuff, and a lot more. I fully expect to be near death by the end of it.

No, not really. But preparing for this obstacle course and finishing edits got me thinking. Editing is a lot like this course, with obstacles you have to overcome.


Sometimes, it's going under all that writing and finding out what you really want to say in a particular paragraph or chapter or sentence. You have to dig deep and cut out the extra unnecessary words that just bog down the writing.


Other times, it's climbing over your own ideas that *this* section is perfect and, of course, it *can't* be changed. If you're a writer, you might know what I'm talking about. There's always at least one part in a MS of mine where I just LOVE it so much...except, it holds no value to the story. Maybe it's the prose or the structure or the little story in that section that makes me want to keep it. But it really doesn't help the overall story. It's *only* in there because I love it so much. So I have to climb over that idea that it's perfect and that it *must* stay. Because, guess what? I've learned that nothing is permanent in editing/revisions. If it makes your story stronger to take out that section then do it. Save that little piece for yourself in an excerpts document or something, but work toward making your story as strong as it can be. Even if it means sacrificing certain sections.


Editing isn't easy. It's not an overnight, simple fix. (Oh man, I wish it were!) It takes hard work and lots of time. But when you're done, it's awesome. I'm rereading my MS right now after edits (again) because I love it, and I love seeing the changes that have made my story stronger.


Next step, querying. And that's another obstacle that's probably harder than all the others in the writing process. But yeah, I know I'll end up talking about that one later on...

And just for fun...Some of you might know that I'm also part of a collaborative blog over at Tangled Up in Words. These last couple weeks, we had tons of guest authors over there telling us why they write, but to end the segment up, us Tangled girls decided to tell all of you what we do when we aren't writing...in a vlog. So, if you wanna see it, here it is. (It's my first vlog! I always feel silly when I see myself on video. I'm only in it a little bit b/c I didn't take much video. I had to use my phone b/c my webcam has decided it doesn't like me.)



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Autism Awarness Hop 2012 Winner


Sorry for the delay in announcing my winner for the Autism Awareness blog hop! I've got family in town and haven't had a lot of internet time. Anyway, the winner is:
Anne!

Congrats! An email has been sent to you, Anne. Thank you so much to everyone for participating in the contest and check back later for more giveaways!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Autism Awarness Hop 2012



It's time for the Autism Awareness blog hop hosted by: Lindsay @ Just Another Book Addict, Heather @ Fire and Ice, Pixie @ Page Turners, and Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

I was lucky enough to be a part of this blog last year and am so glad to be a part of it this year too! Hopefully, this hop will raise awareness on autism for any one that doesn't know about it or wants to learn more! For the last 7 years I've worked with children with autism and love my job. Each one of my students is unique and amazing. While they can sometimes be difficult and frustrating, there also hasn't been a day that's gone by where they haven't made me smile and laugh. Even on the most difficult days, these kids make my job worth it.

It's my hope that people will learn more about autism, but also keep in mind that these kids aren't just a disorder; they're children too--wonderful kids that can teach you as much as you can teach them.

So, on to the contest! Here is what you can win!
(Click on the picture for the Goodreads description)



My rules are simple!

1. Giveaway start April 11th and ends April 17th (Hop rules)
2. Leave a comment below saying you want to enter (with an email address so I can contact you if you're a winner)
3. U.S. giveaway only
4. That's it! You don't have to follow my blog or anything (but if you wanna click that little follow button over on the right side there, then it'll sure make me happy!)


And now that you've entered my giveaway, go enter everyone else's that's a part of this Hop! There are over 75 participants in this hop! The link-y is below! Thanks for stopping by!



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Winner and more!

Hey guys! Sorry I didn't post the winners for the Spring Cleaning Hop yesterday. I've been sick and was basically asleep all day yesterday! Bleh.

Anyway! Here are the winners:

Tiff Pull & Julie W

Congrats guys and I hope you enjoy the books!


In other news!!!!!.....I finished the draft that I've been working on in my writing! YAY! I actually finished a little while ago, but have been busy catching up on reading, seeing The Hunger Games (a couple times. Who else loved it?!) and just catching up on other general stuff in life. Anyway, I'm super excited to start revisions and edits soon. I've actually got over a week off from work coming up and can't wait to use that time to work on it!

Anyway, thanks again to everyone that entered the contest on and come back soon b/c there's another blog hop contest coming up again!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Cleaning Hop Giveaway!

Time for another giveaway! Yay! Thanks to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for hosting this Hop.

Here's what's up for grabs at my blog! I'll pick two winners. One for each book. First chosen gets first choice!
(click on the pic for a link to the Goodreads description)




My rules are simple!

1. Giveaway start March 2oth and ends March 25th (Hop rules)
2. Leave a comment below saying you want to enter (with an email address so I can contact you if you're a winner)
3. U.S. giveaway only
4. That's it! You don't have to follow my blog or anything (but if you wanna click that little follow button over on the right side there, then it'll sure make me happy!)


And now that you've entered my giveaway, go enter everyone else's that's a part of this Hop! The link-y is below! Thanks for stopping by!






Monday, March 12, 2012

Near the Finish Line

You guys! Guess what! I am *almost* finish this WiP I'm working on. Another couple chapters and I am done. It is so exciting and yet so hard to be this close to finishing. To be soooo close yet not quite there yet.

I'm actually really excited to start revisions. (Though I'll take some time off first to get some distance from this story and catch up on my reading!) Also, someone remind me that I said I was excited about revisions once I'm in the thick of them!

So, sorry that I've been posting sporadically (and probably will be coming up too) until I finish this draft. I promise, some day, I will have consistent post. In the meantime, thanks to everyone that's stuck around this long!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Writing Tension

Hey followers! I wrote a post on adding tension to your story on the other blog that I help with. If any of you out there are writers also and want to check it out here's the link! Hope it helps some of you!~

Hope you're all having a happy week!~

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Books and Birthdays!

So guess what?! Last weekend was my birthday! (Yay!) It was awesome. My twin sister (who lives in another state) got to come visit so we got to spend our birthday together. It was lots of fun, but on top of that I also got to attend a book launch party for Jessica Spotswood and her novel Born Wicked!



Look at all those books! <3


Hanging out with some awesome writer friends (too bad I didn't get pictures of everyone else)


Jessica signing some of her books!


So the party and last weekend were amazing and I couldn't have asked for a better birthday! In other news, I'm getting closer to finishing my MS! I hit 60k the other day and it's so exciting to start tying everything in and wrapping the story up!~