Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Checking in ~ It's been awhile...

Hello Friends!

Wow - it's been over a year since I've posted anything. Life happens. What can I say. :)

A quick update - I'm still writing. I will forever write. It's my passion and my only viable outlet to get out all the crazy imaginative things in my head. And I miss you all. I hope to get back in the swing of things, eventually - but, just wanted to check in and say "Happy Writing! Follow your Dreams! Never give up on the thing you love!" :)

And, in case any of you miss my dog, here's a quick fix:

You're welcome. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Writer's Voice - ENTER May 1st!!

I've had some success with Pitch Contests via Twitter or through blogs. While I'm still on that elusive hunt for an agent - by success, I mean that a talented group of fellow writers that volunteer a LOT of their time to put these contests out there have selected my work, on occasion, to showcase. Woot!

We all write because we LOVE to write, but we still secretly crave that validation from our peers. And even when I don't get picked - I root for the writers who did and keep tabs on what's going on, what genres are doing the best in the contest - that kind of stuff, because - hey! Helpful! :)

So, thought I'd give a quick shout out to another pitch contest coming up on May 1st:

And you can click HERE for all the juicy deets.  Enter it! Can't hurt - right? Happy writing and GOOD LUCK!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How Did I Forget How Great "Stand by Me" Is??

Photo credit here

Do you ever, for one reason or another, remember seeing a movie and thinking, "Yeah. Once was enough."? I must have had this reaction when I watched "Stand by Me" for the first time, when I was a teenager. I can't explain why, but it was always one of those movies that I was like, "Meh. I've seen it already." But, as my daughter and I were trolling through the movie selections on Amazon Instant Video the other weekend, I came across this movie and thought - "OK. Why not?"

Why not?? Seriously? What was I thinking??? I had somehow forgotten how FABULOUS this movie is. Or never realized it the first time around. Maybe it's my maturation as an aspiring writer, and well, as a basic human being, but I appreciate this story so much more now. The characters, the friendships, the "what ifs", the beautiful simplicity, the very "realness" of it all made me wish that I could write something just as good. It inspired me. And I just thought you all should know that ~ ;)

My 16-year-old daughter LOVED it, by the way. How could she not?  And just as a crazy, this-is-me-thinking-about-it-too-much aside to the movie and the actors...has anyone else realized how scary-alike the real actors and their characters sort-of ended up? Wil Wheaton/Gordie Lachance - both writers.  River Phoenix/Chris Chambers - both dead (so sad!!!)  Jerry O'Connell/Vern Tessio - both married with kids.  Corey Feldman/Teddy Duchamp - both turned out a little sad and crazy. Weird...

Anyhow - I thought it worth mentioning that your tastes and your appreciation and understanding for things can change with time and experience. Never hurts to give something/someone a second chance. Who knows - the second time around may even inspire you!

Happy Tuesday, y'all! :)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A word about Pitch Contests ~ :)

Hello, my lovelies!!

I hope you're all having a FANTASTIC day ~ :)

Just wanted to give a quick shout-out about some upcoming pitch contests for aspiring, unpublished writers. If you've never entered one - my advice to you: DO IT! Like...DO IT, NOW!! :)  *takes Miss Bossy hat off*

Seriously, though - you should enter one. They are virtually painless, I promise. Yes, there may be a minor period of utter self-loathing if you don't get picked for the agent round, but here's the thing:

You will LEARN something.

In the ever-changing landscape of publishing, it never hurts to keep tabs on writing/agent trends. HOWEVER! And this is important ~ you still need to write the stories that you want/love/need to write. But, to keep in touch with trends, agents, and the fabulous writing community, it's my humble opinion that pitch contests are a great way to do it.

I've had my ups and downs with contests like these - for sure. Everyone does. I've made it through to agent rounds a few times. I've completely missed the boat at other times. But, I keep entering. I keep LEARNING something. I keep connecting with other writers. I keep championing the lucky few who do make it to the agent round. I keep giving thanks to the awesome people who donate their time to creating these opportunities for aspiring writers like me. I keep on keeping on, because I firmly believe that there is no reward without a little risk. And, honestly, the worst thing that can happen is that someone says "No." This time. Maybe. And it may not happen the next time. Maybe you'll be that lucky entry in the agent round that works up a "requesting" frenzy!

Of course, you'll never know for sure unless you enter.

SOOOOOOO... :)  Here are a few contests, via twitter hashtags, to go check out TODAY!  Happy writing and good luck, my friends!!!

#NestPitch    Submissions Apr. 1st and 2nd
#PitchSlam   Submissions Apr. 20th
#pitchmadness  *This one just passed earlier this month, but there will be another one this year. Watch for it!
#sunvssnow  *This one also just passed earlier this year, but hoping they repeat in the future!!
#nightmarequery **This one happens around Halloween  ***follow @michelle4laughs  for deets on this and the sun vs snow

**There is also the Writer's Voice coming up in May (not sure of the hashtag on this one, so follow @KristaVanDolzer for upcoming deets on this one.

**And please follow @brendadrake  - as she is one of the Pitch Contest QUEENS!!  She does Pitch Madness and Pitch Wars, the latter is one I'm aspiring to be picked for because it's AWESOME! 

***I know there's some I'm missing, but all these lovely contests and people follow each other, so you'll get the info you need!! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Queen of Procrastination ~ no more...

Hello Blogger Friends ~

It's been awhile, I know. But, I'm pushing a mile-stone bday in less than a month and I think it's finally getting through to me that I need to actively pursue my dreams, if I want them to come true. Not that I haven't been busy! I've been writing, editing, reading and researching things I need to do to help me with my goals. But, there have been a few details/projects that have slipped through the cracks. This poor blog, for one. (And I started out so well!)

I've decided to relinquish my title of "The Queen of Procrastination".  Honestly, if you'd like to take it from me and use it as your own, you are very welcome to it. :) I just decided that it probably wasn't the best title to own up to, in case any potential agents were Google-ing my name to check me out. ;)

I also decided it was time to put a "face" with my name. (New profile pic to the right, thx!!) Not that I'm in love with my face - but, yanno, there it is over there for your viewing pleasure.

Your dreams take dedication and hard work and a serious "can-do" attitude. And I am simply amazed and inspired by all of this I see in so many of you. We're fighting the good fight, and with a little persistence and patience, I'm hoping we can all make this particular dream of ours come true. And for those of you who have already made it ~ YOU ARE AWESOME TIMES TWO!!

As for me, I'm all in. Starting today. Wish me luck?

Happy writing/reading/living/loving out there, my friends!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Writer's Voice Contest Entry ~

Hello lovely Blogger friends!! I've been randomly selected to participate in the Writer's Voice Contest! Soooo excited!! A huge shout out and THANK YOU to Cupid, Brenda Drake, Monica B.W., and Krista Van Dolzer for hosting! If you're interested to see how the contest works, click here.

The contest instructions ask that I share my query and first 250 words of my YA Contemporary Fantasy THE GLASS PRINCE, here on my blog. So, here it is ~ I hope you enjoy it!


Dear Writer's Voice Coaches of Awesomeness:

Clara Knight wants nothing more than to perfect her baking skills, enjoy her seventeenth birthday party with friends, and go to Prom with her super-popular boyfriend. But then Rion rolls into town, complete with golden-boy good looks and a sexy British accent. When he kisses her in front of her party guests, all social-hell breaks loose.

Clara flees to upstate New York, accepting her estranged Grandma’s invitation to spend the summer with her. Grandma did promise to unveil some secret family tradition, after all. What Clara actually learns is that she shares a curse with Rion, and that he is an immortal fairy-tale prince her family is bound to help. Too bad he seems more interested in kissing Clara than breaking curses.

When a family heirloom and moonlight whoosh her away to the prince’s hometown of Elysia, five-hundred years in the past, Clara finds a cryptic riddle – her first clue to breaking the curse. As she digs deeper into her family’s past, she realizes that Dad’s death, always thought to be an accident, might have actually been murder. And when she starts to suspect that Grandma is working against her, she realizes that working with the boy she loves to hate is her only chance for survival.

THE GLASS PRINCE is complete at 72,500 words and I’m happy to send sample pages, if you’d like to read them. I have a BA in English, am a member of SCBWI, the League of Utah Writer’s and the Pied Pipers online critique group. I also try to attend at least one writing conference every year. And, of course, I’m always reading. I truly appreciate your time and consideration. .

First 250:

Someone rang my doorbell as if he’d accidentally super-glued his finger to the button. My neck muscles tightened with every annoying ding. A small window of time existed between taking hot cinnamon buns out of the oven and cooling them off just enough for the perfect glazing. If this idiot made me miss my window, heads were gonna roll.

I whipped the door open with dramatic flair and glared. I found a random delivery guy standing there. My eyes softened as I took in his golden waves of hair. He wore sunglasses. A curious tiara-sporting apple emblem stood out on his shirt pocket and his entire outfit, really, was head-to-toe crap, but somehow he managed to pull it off. At least, my heart thought so. Its beat quickened as I noticed all that muscle definition rippling the fabric of his uniform. And his tan? Heck. Who needed Tylenol for a stiff neck? Bring me a cute boy and “Cured!” Did ‘cute’ even do this guy justice, though? The tension in my face melted like ice cream on an oven-warm brownie.

“Can,” I paused to clear my throat. “Sorry. Can I help you?”

The boy chuckled and smiled. Or did he smirk?

“I’m here to wish you a happy seventeenth birthday, Clara,” he said, in a cool accent that made my whole body tingle. He held a large silvery envelope, so shiny I could almost see my reflection in it. “And to give you this.”

My hand crept up to my hair.        

And that's it!  Thanks to all who stop by and best of luck to all of the Writer's Voice contest participants!! :)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

the One Where I Equate Getting my Dog to Look up and Sit Still for a Picture...to Writing. :)

Hello my fellow bloggers and writing friends!! 

I know I've been in-blog-visible lately...all I can say is that I've missed you all terribly, *virtual hugs to all*, and hope you'll still stop by and say "hello" to an old bloggy friend? *fingers and toes crossed*

Besides, I had to get this post up that I promised you months ago!!! And I KNOW many of you can relate ~

This writing thing...why do we do it? It's sort of like getting your pet to sit still for picture, isn't it?

I can get him positioned one way, but just as I go in for the pic!! Head turn.

And then, of course, something fascinating, like a bird ruffling feathers in a nearby bush, distracts him...

Try three...another head turn just as I click!

And then after a few (dozen!!!) more tries...the dog's just done.

BUT!!!  With a little patience and persistence...as with all things...in the end, you might just get the money shot:

I love writing and I love my cute, little dog. Why? Because both of these things make me happy. And things that make me happy are totally worth my time and patience.

Happy writing, my friends!!!!  Hope you're all doing wonderfully and find something that makes you happy today!! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blood Will Tell ~ by Meredith Mansfield!!

Hey bloggy friends!!  One of my amazing crit partners just put one of her novels up on Smashwords and Amazon.

If you're in the mood for a great contemporary dragon fantasy with a twist - you NEED to check this out!

Here're the links to finding BLOOD WILL TELL by Meredith Mansfield:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/154196

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Will-Tell-Chimeria-ebook/dp/B007WGBNII/ref=sr_1_20?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1349898063&sr=1-20&keywords=blood+will+tell

Thanks and I'm audi!!  (although, I will be back shortly with a fascinating comparison of dog pics and writing novels...stay tuned!!)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

GUTGAA ~ round 1.... :)

Hey, everyone!!  Hope you're all having a FANTASTIC week!!  (so far, right?  It's only Monday....)

I'll make this short and sweet.  I'm asking favors, here. 

I made it into the 1st round judging of GUTGAA's Agent Pitch contest ~ woo hoo!!

TWO submission windows for 100 entries each and they BOTH filled up in under 1 minute!!  Crazy...  I feel pretty lucky to have been among the lucky few to get in.  And there are SOOO many amazing entries!

I really have to give props to Deana Barnhart, again - for organizing this and clearly, all the work she's putting into it.  KUDOS, Deana!!  (*and for those still interested in pitching - she's doing another contest in a few weeks to pitch to small press publishers - so visit her site soon!!)

Deana also has a group of people helping her out and many are hosting the 1st round of to-be-judged entries this week.  My entry happens to be posted on the awesome Falling for Fiction blog ~ #14.

So, yanno, if you find yourself having a little free time this week and want to hop on over there and take a look...I wouldn't mind so much.  :)

Best of luck to ALL the entrants!!  And hope y'all have a wonderful week!!  Thanks!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dual Spires/Twin Peaks... :)

Ah, Netflix.  How I adore thee...

Ok - so, I've been watching Psych on Netflix...LOVE IT!!!  If I wasn't married and James Roday wasn't dating the adorable Maggie Lawson - I would SO be all over him!! (oh, and have to give love to Dule Hill, Timothy Omundson, and Corbin Bernsen, too!...but, I digress...)  If you aren't watching this show...WHY NOT???


But - that's not exactly what I'm writing about and I'll quit being pushy.  To each their own taste in television shows...(but, seriously.  Watch Psych today.  You won't regret it!)

I'm actually writing about their spoof episode "Dual Spires".  Now, I never watched Twin Peaks back in the day - so I totally didn't get it.  Of course, being me, I needed to be in on the joke.  So - ala Netflix - I just got done watching the entire series of Twin Peaks!! 


And then rewatched Dual Spires - SO much funnier the second time!!  Ok - but, still not exactly what I'm writing about.

What I really want to know.....how many Twin Peaks fans out there?  Did you watch it with the same "WTF - face" that I did?  (my "F" in WTF actually stands for "frack", btw...) And if you could write one more episode to follow that blasted cliff-hanger!!!  What would it be??  Thoughts?

(How's everyone doing, by the way?  Good, good - I hope!)  Happy Writing/Reading/Living out there, my friends!