Monday, November 25, 2013

I am thankful for...

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and in the midst of hectic writing, house cleaning and preparing for a feast with company I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude.
I have so much to be thankful for in my life. God has blessed me with four amazing, beautiful children. A ridiculously cute grandson and the love of my life and best friend for a husband.

But today I want to thank you dear readers & visitors of my blog. As a writer there is nothing more terrifying yet satisfying than sharing the stories I create. I want to thank you for taking the time to visit this website and/or read my writing.

In thanks I'm offering 50% off Monsoon Reign for the Holiday season.

For a physical, hold in your hands, printed copy you can get it half off at this link:
Monsoon Reign (Createspace)

Use the following discount code:

If you prefer an ebook, you can find the half off discount here:
Monsoon Reign (Smashwords)

Use the following code:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2013

I have officially achieved my goal of "winning" NaNoWriMo this year. Today my story went over 50,000 words. Now it's not done yet, but it is nearing the end.

Here's a screen shot of my graph:

 It's a huge relief to succeed before Thanksgiving. We have company coming and my house is falling apart with so much time spent on writing each day. I've tried to keep things tidy, but I think I'll spend the weekend doing a deep cleaning.

I also revamped the print version cover of Monsoon Reign. The ebook cover looked great but it just didn't work in printed form. Here's a peek at the new design.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hey all! I've been so busy keeping up with my writing goals or trying to exceed them that I haven't had much time to carve out for the blog. I'm happy to say that I've reached 46,000 words today and my goal is to finish tomorrow. It's been awhile since I've felt so excited to write a story and I hope to have it polished, edited and ready for publishing by the beginning of the year.

Today I wanted to share a pep talk from NaNoWriMo that offers some really great advice to frustrated writers.

Pep talk from Marie Lu

Hey Wrimos,
You’re past the halfway mark. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you can see the faintest glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. But you can barely breathe. Your brain feels sore. Things might be getting a little rough, right?
I’m not going to give you inspirational words. I’m not going to tell you how hard it is to be a writer or how courageous you are to be doing this (which you are, by the way, didn’t you know that already?). You don’t have time for all that—you’re trying to finish a novel! Today, I’m going to give you some practical tips on how to make it through the third week. The dark swamp. The mines of writer’s block.
Pull your favorite, tattered, dog-eared book off the shelves. Find a chapter that leaves you breathless. Start typing it out in a new document, word for word. Don’t just type blindly; think about what you’re writing. For me, something about this exercise helps me see the genius in the other writer’s storytelling, and will stimulate my own writing and thoughts. Be careful, of course, that you don’t end up plagiarizing it right into your novel… but there’s something to be said for drawing inspiration from another.
Write a long list of all your characters. Then, start drawing random lines connecting random characters to each other. Don’t think—just connect. Afterward, look down at your page. Try to figure out a connection between each of the two random characters you just linked—something scandalous, maybe, or something sweet. Something three-dimensional and unexpected. Some explosive scene that throws the two together.
Turn to a different creative venture. This is the point in NaNoWriMo when you start feeling exhausted, which makes you lazy, which makes your storytelling lazy. Words might not be inspiring you anymore. So turn to writing’s creative cousins. Art. Music. Games. And so on. I personally will draw my characters. You can do the same, even if you don’t usually draw or you don’t want to draw your characters. Take 10 minutes and make a map of your world, even if you’re writing contemporary. Where’s the post office? What’s the layout of this house? What places do your characters love to visit? Draw a random box in the corner. Make that a secret/forbidden/abandoned place. A love hotel. A bar with a hidden basement.
Turn to music: make a playlist of music that matches the mood of your story. Don’t just play it back, either—plug in some good headphones, close your eyes, sit back, crank the volume, and get lost. Play the scenes of your story out in your head. Imagine the lyrics matching your story. Listen to the story arc inherent in the song. Go to where your characters are. Somewhere in the darkness, you might see the spark of a scene.
Of course, none of this can trump the ultimate, time-worn advice:
Just Keep Going.
Write an entire monologue with your main character if you have to. Spend a chapter just exploring the life story of an antagonist. Write a scene with nothing but dialogue between your hero and your villain. Write a steamy love scene between your favorite couple. They don’t have to be scenes in chronological order. They don’t even have to end up in your book. But they will help you to keep going.
So keep going. You’re almost there. Just a little more. You are stubborn. You are exhausted. You are determined. You are a Writer.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I'm still plugging away at NaNoWriMo and really loving the story more each day as it develops. As of today my word count is at 28,128 and the ideas are still flowing. So many possibilities and such fun characters to play with.

The main character, Johanna, has now been transported back to her homeworld and is in the hands of the enemy. So for now I'm going to daydream of the logistics of a rescue that needs to take place.

Off topic and totally random I thought I'd share Vacuum sealed people. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

I have admit that I am having a blast with my first try at NaNo. At first the idea of writing 50,000 in 30 days is daunting. But now that I'm already 12,336 words in I believe I can achieve it. Plus I've recaptured the joy of writing. I'm having fun and not worrying about what others are going to think of my writing. That will come later as I revise :)

I have another excerpt I'd like to share. Please forgive the quality of these snippets I'm posting. They are merely first drafts, I haven't even gone back to read over and weed out the evil was, were and other passive writing that plagues rough drafts. Regardless it gives and idea of where the story is going and I hope it is enjoyed.

“Wait a second.” She sat up and he halted in the doorway. “Are we sharing this room?”
“But there’s only one bed.” She wasn’t sure why she protested. She suddenly felt an intense desire to bed this man. “Never mind, that.”
“Johanna.” Wolf had a warning tone to his voice as he turned to stare at her.
“It’s alright.” She walked over to him and put her hand on his chest. His deliciously hard muscled, wide chest. She let her hand slide slowly down to the waistband of his jeans. “Mind if I join you in the shower?”
“Johanna,” he repeated as he leveled his heated gaze at her. “As tempting as your offer is, I’ll have to decline.” He stepped back from her reach. “This is just a side effect of all those pesky emotions returning to you at once.”
“No, Wolf.” She’d never been so sure of wanting a man in her life. This couldn’t be wrong. “I want you… I need you tonight.”
His face betrayed his desire for her and it was all the encouragement she needed. This time she put both hands on the collar of his jacket and pulled him down, planting her lips on his. She could sense his resolve melting as she ran her tongue over the crevice in his lips, taunting him to open up to her kiss. He didn’t disappoint. One arm pulled her tight against him as they deepened the kiss. The hard ridge of his arousal ground into her belly and he placed a gentle hand on the back of her head. Cradling her like she precious to him.
Then he pulled back and set her away from him with his hands on her shoulders. “I’m sorry, that was wrong. This is wrong.”
“Why?” She pleaded.
“You are royalty. I’m a knight sworn to protect you. Besides the fact that I’m kind of twenty years older than you.”
“Who cares.” She tried to approach him again but he held her back.
“These feelings you have, princess. They’re intense I know, but they will fade. Most likely by the morning. You will level out and not feel such extremes. If we did this you would only regret it tomorrow.”
“How many times do I have to tell you to stop calling me princess?” She could feel anger replacing the intense lust that had overcome her just minutes ago. Perhaps he was right.
“I beg your pardon, Johanna.” He gave her a curt bow and started for the bathroom again. “You take the bed, I will sleep on the pullout.”

“Fine.” She stomped to the bed and changed into a t-shirt before sliding in between the sheets. She listened to the spray of the shower and as she dozed off she prayed she would wake up tomorrow to find this had all been a dream. Same as last time she met Wolf.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

NaNo day five: Finished off at 10,038 words and something amazing happened. My main character just had an awesome moment of magic and healing.

Here's an excerpt:

“Whatever.” John sneered and turned away to look out the windows. “It doesn’t matter anyway. She’s never been and never will be part of our family.”
“Exactly.” Johanna firmed her resolve to finish this. “I didn’t ask for this. I had parents, great parents that loved me. They loved me enough to send me away when it was dangerous. They gave everything up to save my life. I can’t complain about how you people treated me. I did nothing to deserve any better. And I understand the despair you must have felt at losing someone so dear to you. But my parents deserved better than the ingratitude you’ve shown. No, I’m not your daughter.” Her heart felt lighter from stating that simple phrase. “Wolf was wrong to think I could simply replace her. I’m sorry for what you’ve suffered. However, I was just a child. A lost little girl that needed a family. She… I needed love and comfort. To feel the safe, warm arms of a mother around her.”
Warm tears rolled down her cheeks but she didn’t bother to wipe them away. “You didn’t have to forget your Johanna, but you could have honored her memory. You could have shown some humanity and cared just a little bit about another child in need.”
Now she did wipe her cheeks dry. “This burden is gone. For you, I will never appear in your life again. It will be as if I never existed to you. And for me, I forgive you and will not waste another second thinking about you.”
A subtle ripple of light flashed through the room and the family all stared at her in confusion.
“Can we help you?” Her father asked as he held her mother’s hand.
“What?” She spun to Wolf for an answer.
He leaned to whisper in her ear. “You’ve made them forget. We can move forward now.”
“Miss?” John had turned from the window and looked at her expectantly.
“Sorry… I must have stepped into the wrong room.”
“No problem.” He father gave her a smile. It was the first time she’d ever seen one on his face and it made him appear younger. “I hope you find what you’re looking for.”
“Thanks.” She turned to leave and spoke once more as she walked out the door. “Goodbye Mack… Vera… John."

On a side note I found another picture on the internet that I just loved and wanted to share. Now Wolf isn't really a wolf or even werewolf, but he does ride a motorcycle LOL.

Today's post was accompanied by lots of coffee and Early Jazz Radio by Pandora. :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

NaNo is going great. Here it is day four already and I'm 8020 words into my new novel. I've found that I'm a morning writer, which is crazy because I'm anything but a morning person! But I find as long as I'm up after getting the kids off to school that I want to get my goal of 2000 words out of the way before doing anything else in my day. So I spend two hours working on my writing and so far so good.

I've met some great new characters. Johanna is a somewhat reclusive but sassy young woman. Wolf is just fun in general to write. He's got that sexy bad boy vibe, yet is full of heart and tough to boot. Then there is Jake, the scariest antagonist I've ever written. There's nothing scarier than a guy you know is bad, but comes across as super nice if not perfect.

By the way my main character is a department store window display artist (I actually dreamed of doing that when I was MUCH younger). I found this picture that really inspired me...

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo started today and I'm off to a great start. My goal is 2000 words per day but no less than 1666. I ended my writing session today with 2130 words! And I met some great new characters. A child version of Johanna, she'll be an adult tomorrow, and an important character Johanna insists on calling Wolf. Because his full name, Wolfgang, makes her giggle.

I'm hoping that this momentum continues through each day of this month. If I can prove to myself that I can write a significant amount each day that would be awesome.