Monday, October 31, 2011

More NaNoWriMo Planning

NaNoWriMo LogoNaNoWriMo continues to encircle our thoughts and forces most of us to plan. 50,000 words isn't something to shake a stick at, so, unless you are amazing at 'seat-of-your-pants' writing, you need to do some planning.

My first novel attempt, Summer In The Bitterroot, was a 'seat-of-my-pants' experience and it went really well. Unfortunately, I'm yet to finish Summer, but have since completed Sweetwater Springs. Sweetwater was also a seat-of-the-pants writing and I am very happy with the results.

But since those attempts, I've tried to spend more time planning, organizing, plotting.

NaNoWriMo 2009 Character Wall For NaNoWriMo 2009, my first NaNoWriMo attempt, I did all kinds of planning. I had my characters well-defined. I did several character interviews. I had their pictures hanging on my wall above my workstation.

I use real people for my inspiration. I took time to research, plan and choose the right actor for the part. Just in case they ever made a movie out of my book, I'd know who was to play the part. You know, because - why wouldn't they want to make a movie out of my book!

As I continue to gear up for this years NaNoWriMo, I'm following people on Twitter and blogs who seem to have an endless supply of ideas and concepts for planning. Some of them I find very useful, others, not so much.

I did recently come across one suggestion that I'm trying, in an effort to get to know my characters and plot better before the big write-in. Ink Stained Scribe

The first part helps you get to know your character using Descriptors, Nouns, Secondary Descriptors, Motivations and Secondary Motivations. That post helped me get to know my early characters better. Define them. Help me plan for later for when my character must do something. I can think back on that summary of them and help them behave as expected.

I'm thinking of trying notecards this year for NaNoWriMo. Physical, write-on or print-on notecards. I've seen posts and suggestions to try this.

One thing I am learning, though, is that there is still plenty to learn.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Follow me to 100 Giveaway!

WolfeAs I go about learning the social medium, the ins-and-outs of social decorum, the hows and whys of getting noticed and noticing, I find my little follower numbers growing, ever so slightly. Twitter growth seems exceptional, but I attribute that to a 'I follow/you follow' concept that seems to be the norm. That's OK with me, especially since I am still early in my entrance into this game.

Anyway - as I watch my little numbers slowly growing, it makes me smile to know that other people are getting to know my online self and I am starting to get to know a few of my followers as well. In fact, it makes me happy enough to want to do a Giveaway !!!

But you know what? I don't know yet what I want to giveaway! I know that it will be totally awesome because getting to 100 followers on my blog IS totally awesome. Maybe I want to giveaway some of my favorite books. Maybe something rare and signed. Maybe I'll giveaway a rare opportunity. Or perhaps I'll have to go to the 'ole standby' and go with a gift card (or maybe several!)

 It WILL be Awesome!But whatever it is that gets given away, the winner(s?) will think, "This is totally awesome!" I promise!

So I'm looking for more followers (aren't we all?), people who can semi-relate to this writing thing. Someone who might be able to relate to being a parent.

Follow me to 100! Then let's give away something Awesome!

Post in the comments if you have suggestions on what you think I should giveaway. Who knows, you might be the one to win it!

To be eligible to win, you MUST be a GFC follower of this blog and you MUST fill in the form below (you don't even have to post a comment! But I'd love it if you did. :] ). When I hit 100 followers on this blog, entries will be closed and a winner will be chosen from the ones listed below this form. The randomly chosen winner will be contacted via the email address they enter here (so please be sure it's correct).

Follow Me To 100 Giveaway

The Required Stuff

(this is the only thing posted in the list below)
Your email address:
(must match in GFC)

Optional Stuff, if you'd like to share.

Your Twitter Name?

Your Blog Address?

Time Flies Friday for 10.28.2011

This blog hop is hosted by Passion for Novels

Ahh, time to reminisce on another book. While growing up, I read a lot of books, and like I mentioned before, my mom would read to us all the time. One book that really stuck with me was a book called:

The Giver
by Lois Lowry -

This book talks about a world within our world that everything is controlled. You are not 'born' into a family you are 'given' to a family based on the skills of the husband and wife. As you grow, you are directed to participate in different, specific activities. Then someone else decides what you are going to be when you grow up. My favorite part in the book is when our main character, Jonas sees in color. I would love to explain the whole thing but it really must be experienced for yourself. Just take it from me, this is a must read. I have, over and over and over again.

Have you ever read this book? Did you like it? Post in the comments below your thoughts on this book.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blog Hops!

Here are a few blog hops that I follow and in which I try to participate regularly.

Monday: (open and looking)

Tuesday: (open and looking)

Wednesday: (open and looking)

Thursday: Know me Better hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer

Friday: Time Flies Friday hosted by Passion for Novels

Saturday: (If I find I have time on Saturdays, maybe I'll follow a blog hop here)

Sunday: (currently open - I don't blog much on Sundays)

Do you have some suggestions for good blog hops to follow? Please post in the comments below with suggestions. Thanks

Know Me Better for 10.27.2011

Hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer

This Week's Questions:

  • If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
Helen Keller or Anne Frank Their stories of courage and strength always encourage me to do more and do better.
  • Chocolate or Vanilla?
  • What do you do in your free time?
Not a lot of free time. But when I do have it, I tend to read or write.
  • What movie are you looking forward to this year?
The new Jane Eyre movie. But we aren't big movie fans. We wait for them to go to DVD or Netflix.
  • Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
A Planner I am. I'm a big fan of lists and schedules.

Now it's your turn! Share an answer to one or more of these questions as a comment or post your answers on your blog and link up here!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Books that Changed My Life 03

Continuation of Books That Changed My Life 02

4. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman - Ok, first off, the illustrations in this book are amazing. I love the colors and I remember them being so vivid when I was a child. I also love the story line, a little boy who loves pancakes and these tigers come to eat the pancakes but decide to eat him instead. He gives the tigers his beautiful cloths, and purple shoes to pacify them and everything is fine until they start to fight each other and then run around and around until they turn to butter. Just great!! What concept, and in the end our little Sambo is the winner all around. He gets his cloths back AND butter for his pancakes!!

5. The Twits by Roald Dahl- I loved this book because it was funny to see them be awful to each other. Who thinks to write a book about a terrible couple who hates everyone including each other! It was a deliciously disgusting book and my five year old thought it was the greatest!!! I know exactly what he sees in it because it was just as fun reading it to him as it was when my mom read it to me. And I will never look at a man with a beard the same way again!

These are just a few of the books, like I said I can remember hundreds of books my mom read to us. Maybe some day I will post all the books that I read when I was growing up, just for the fun of seeing the list myself.

What are some books that you remember from growing up and how have they affected you? Please comment below with some of your favorites.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!

I am participating in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop. This is my First Time! I've never done a giveaway, and I've never been in a Hop!

So let's keep things nice and simple. There are 2 things to win.

First, there will be 1 Grand Prize of a $10 gift card to Amazon. (US only).

Second, I'm giving away 10 free copies of my book, Sweetwater Springs. They will be available via Smashwords with a coupon.

The details are simple. For the first entry, join this site/blog. Then for additional entries (+1 for each), follow/friend me at Facebook, and Twitter, Goodreads and LibraryThing.

If you are already my friends/followers, then comment below and tell me on which places you are already following me. Then I'll give you a point for each one.

I will randomly choose the winners from all the new friends/followers to the listed sites, along with the listing in the comments of this post.

I will choose the 10 free book winners and then choose the Grand Prize Winner. (you can not win both) Each winner will be contacted by email via the method they entered (goodreads, facebook, twitter, etc) and will have 10 days to respond. Non-responders will forfeit their prize. The winner list will be here on my blog. Chances of winning are based on number of signups/points awarded.

That means you have lots of chances to enter to win! So signup! Be my friend! Follow me! (and I'll probably follow you back).

I'm excited to be part of this Giveaway Hop! And I'm excited to get to know you!

And now that you've signed up and entered and followed and friended, and commented, go visit the other hops here:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Books That Changed My Life 02

Continuation of Books That Changed My Life

2. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - I am a sucker for books with a strong female lead. Something about how she has to fend for herself and then uses her resources to make friends with the wild dog and the strength she needed to bury her little brother. I don't know what I loved so much about this book when mom first read it to me, but this book struck a resounding tone with me. It is one book I was anxious to share with my ten year old daughter.

3. Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls - I liked this book so much because it was kind of a happy version of Where the Red Fern Grows. A story about a boy who gets an idea and sees it though. I also love how much I connected with the monkeys. They were so human at times that I wasn't sure who to root for. Then when he chooses to use his reward money to help his sister is just priceless!! Oh, and he gets his pony. I'd love to get a pony. : ]

Details for 2 more books are HERE!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Books That Changed my Life

This post is inspired by the Time Flies Friday blog hop, hosted by Passion for Novels

The Rules :)
  • Follow Passion for Novels as host of the meme
  • Please add the blog hop button so everyone else can enjoy their childhood books again!!
  • Post about your book and why you love it so much!
  • Add a link to my blog at the top of your post (
  • Add a link to your blog on the linky at the bottom of the page
  • Make sure you visit all the other blogs!!!

Books That Changed My Life

Today I want to talk about some books that changed the way I viewed the world. When I was young, my mom read to us seemingly every night. We would pile into her bed and she would read us chapter after chapter until we fell asleep, then dad would carry us to bed. We LOVED it when she read to us. There were old classics, Little Black Sambo, Where the Wild Things Are, The Box Car Children, Island of the Blue Dolphins, Summer of the Monkeys, The BFG, The Twits, just to name a few. As we got older, she picked other books; one I remember vividly was Mary Higgins Clark's book, While my Pretty One Sleeps.

It wasn't until I was taking a college writing class that my mom told me that she read to us because she struggled with reading and a college instructor told her to read out-loud to someone. I will be eternally grateful she choose to read to us. Having had her instill such a love of reading in us, I went on to devour books myself. I loved old and new. When we got reading assignments in AP English I read the books over and over again. I think I was the only kid in my class to finish and re-read The Scarlet Letter. I have read that book about 6 times now, always finding new depth and meaning. My husband thought I had lost my mind when I brought home the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo.

I know that this exercise is to narrow down these books to my very favorite so I will try my best to keep the list under one hundred. :)

1. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Dendak - Where do I start! I LOVE this book because it is imagination at its best. You can feel his frustration toward his mother and how she doesn't get that he just wants to be a wild thing. I have those day still as a mother that I really want to be a wild thing and just dance my wild dances and howl to the moon while I swing from the trees. This book taught me that imagination was endless, and there was always someone at the end of the day that loved me even though I was just a little wild.

Details for 4 more books are HERE!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nano Time!!!


I don't know about you, but I have already had a couple of Personal Nano Jam sessions in an attempt to get my plot and characters setup, and we are still something like ten days out!!!

I decided, just for the heck of it, I was going to write something completely out of my comfort zone. Normally, I'm a lover and writer of Clean Historical Fiction/Romance. But this year I am going for Young Adult Fantasy. Am I completely crazy??? Why yes, yes I am. Don't get me wrong I love to read the stuff, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around all the concepts of a book filled with magic and villains who don't die like regular human beings. I'm also a sucker for romance, imagine that, and so I am going to try to put some of those elements into it as well.

So here it goes. Here is my grand scheme of a plot. My story is about a 16 year old girl who moves with her parents to a new town. She's unhappy about the move AND the new town, but initially the town seems pretty normal. She meets a boy right off who gives her two silver berries then cryptically tells her that if she'll eat one of them, he will explain everything on Monday at school. Strange.? Yes.

The MC later comes to find that there is an evil man, Mayor King, who is controlling the people in his town with magical berries that grow naturally in the area. He found the power of the berries hundreds of years ago and has lured people to town to cultivate and distribute the magical powers so people will do his bidding.

This particular boy that she has met has managed to find the only berry that will keep him from falling under the spell. The berry, the books namesake, is the Silverberry. He has been waiting for someone else to come to town so they could work together to overthrow the bad guys and destroy the magic berries.

Anyway, that is a brief overview. I am hoping to make it a trilogy, but like a said before, I have never done ANYTHING like this. So, wish me the best and after Nano we will see what kind of story we have.

Know Me Better

Know Me Better is a new meme hosted by Kathy of I am a Reader Not a Writer.
Each week she will post five questions, to open herself up to more readers
and in turn, get to know fellow bloggers a little better.

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?I LOVE the old west (Western Romances Rock!) and I don't want to know my future, so I'll say backwards.

Nickname? Sparky, but I can't tell you why. *eg*

What was your favorite children's book? Where the Wild Things Are, but I never saw the movie because I didn't want to ruin my memory of the book.

If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be? * I * HATE * LAUNDRY * And with a husband and 4 children, there's plenty of it for me to be doing. blah

Hot or Cold? I prefer hot. I regularly override the thermostat when my husband isn't home. During the Winter (here in Idaho), I'll have 3 to 4 blankets on my bed.

Now go read and write your own: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Looking for Guest Posters

We're all busy - that's the nature of life. If you find you don't have something to do, life will give you something. Having 4 children of my own, I find I'm always running to keep up, and sometimes, to catch up.

In light of my lack of time, I'd be interested in hearing from some of you about putting guest posts on my blog. Since I'm new here, you can't expect a massive influx of traffic from my site, but you can get take this opportunity to get your name out further by posting here.

I'd love to get to know you. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in guest posting on my blog.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NaNoWriMo Opinion

With the impending doom that is NaNoWriMo, and with 2 years under my belt, I'd like to know your opinion. Which pronunciation is it?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NaNoWriMo Ideas and Planning

NaNoWriMo is a less than 20 some days away! 30 days of writing. 50,000 words. I've made it 2 years running and have every intention of making it this year as well.

I'm pretty sure I have my major plot line figured out. I'm changing genres on this one and look forward to the challenge that will bring. My plot line involves normal people finding themselves in a 'magical' place. But it's not a 'magic' book, nor a 'magic' story. Well..... kind of.

Anyway, I'm using my 10yo daughter as something of a sounding board on plot development. (I'm going for more of a YA theme here) She's been a great help because her imagination is still young and bright, where mine tends to atrophy a bit over time.

I've signed into the NaNoWriMo site and got things started there. I need to get it all setup and prepped for Nov. 1. I have some folder and file organization to do on my computer. I need my husband to do all the latest and greatest updates on my laptop so that I don't have to stop in the middle of the month to get those done.

I have my backup plans in place. You know - emailing yourself the file, saving multiple/progressive copies, printing copies at points throughout the month. Oh - and that reminds me, I need to have my husband ensure the printer is ready to go. Paper, ink, drivers!

So much to do and just about 20 days left to get it all ready. I'm excited! I'm excited for the new genre. Excited for the new challenge! Excited to participate again in NaNoWriMo!

Are you participating? Do you have your plans and plots in place?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Full Manuscript Mess-Up - Can I recover?

I invite you to not tear me apart for what I'm about to tell you. I'm embarrassed to admit that I did it. I've been hiding it for a while now. But I've just gotta ask. Just gotta.

Is it possible to recover from sending an incorrectly formatted full manuscript to a publisher?

Let me explain.

Sweetwater Springs is my first completed novel. It's my baby. And I love it. About 2 years ago, I started the process of sending out query letters. Then I sent out more, and more, and more - and received plenty of rejection letters. I was ignored by many as well. That's OK. That's the way it works. I understand that. It's never fun - but I did it.

During my query research, I came across Avalon Publishing. I was very interested in them because they published clean books. I write Clean Historical Fiction/Romance so was anxious to submit to them and hear back.

I submitted my query letter and first 3 chapters to Avalon and waited for what felt like forever. I might have been a bit anxious. Maybe it was closer to a couple of weeks.

When I heard back from them, I was ecstatic that they had requested a full manuscript.

Without going into a lot of details, in an effort to finalize what I planned to send to Avalon, I was working on making some changes to my manuscript and inadvertently inserted some grammar problems, missing words, bad spelling and other minor things.

I am blessed to have a husband that reads my manuscripts thoroughly and finds all of those problems. But this time, in an epic failure of communication between my husband/editor and myself, we didn't catch these things before mailing off my story.

One year and 2 weeks after submitting my baby to Avalon, I received a rejection letter.

I was devastated.

At this same time, we were in the process of buying a house and moving. So the book sat dormant for a few months. Then we decided to self-publish. We took the same file that we had printed and sent to Avalon and published it to Kindle and Nook.

I was happy.

As probably most authors do who self-publish, I downloaded a copy of my book to my e-reader. As I began to read, though, I started to notice little issues. I started to notice the missing word here or there, the spelling problems, the grammar issues.

With haste, I talked with my husband about what had happened and why all these problems are in the book! We realized our mistake, pulled down the wrong version, re-edited the book, and republished it back up online with all those problems ironed out.

Whew - all is well there now.

But this gets us to thinking. And brings me to my question.

I wonder if my manuscript was rejected by Avalon due to the spelling and grammar issues rather than content and plot problems. If they had read the original 3 chapters (that we had meticulously edited), and liked the story enough to request a full manuscript, but then received what turned out to be a very poorly formatted and edited manuscript, I can't imagine what they must have been thinking. Surely they expected better from me.

So, finally, after all that, here is my question:

Is it possible to recover from this? Is it possible to recontact Avalon and ask for a 'second chance'?

I am happy that we chose to self-publish Sweetwater Springs, but I'd love a chance to have a traditionally published book as well.

I'm interested in your opinions. Please comment and tell me what you think. Should I recontact Avalon? Is it worth my while? Do I stand a chance to recover from this terrible flub-up?

Please comment and let me know.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop Coming!

I've decided to participate in the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop hosted here:

I've set up a page special for this, my first-ever, blog hop. You can click on 'Spooktacular Giveaway Hop' at the top of my blog! You'll find more information on that page as the hop comes closer!

I'm excited to try this! I hope I meet a bunch of new people!