Monday, February 28, 2011

Balls!! Of the popcorn persuasion....

(*disclaimer: the recipes you may find here from time to time on Mood Munchies Mondays will by no means be healthy.  So, if you're trying to trim the fat, cut carbs, be fit, eat more veggies, etc...oh, heck!  Stick around.  You've got "cheat" days, don't you?)

Happy Monday, everyone!!  So, today's post will be short and sweet - literally!  A super easy recipe and a sure-fire sugar fix!  I give you:

Popcorn Balls

Here's what you'll need:

1 cube margarine/butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 t. vanilla (I add a bit more)
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2-3 packages movie theater buttery microwave popcorn OR 6 qts. natural air-popped pop corn (I go with the microwaveable bags w/extra butter...umm, yeah...)

Here's what you do:

In a heavy sauce pan, bring all ingredients (less the popcorn) to a boil, boil for 3 minutes.  Take off heat and stir, stir, stir to a smooth consistency.  Pour over your popcorn.  Stir well to coat.  *You can either eat it straight out of the bowl or form into popcorn balls.  Wetting hands with water helps in the forming of balls.

And then you eat them, of course!!!  Soooo yum.

*But, how does this tie to writing, you ask?  Simple.  If you ever need to mindlessly mull over an idea, a problem spot, an edit, a choice...this delicious, addicting treat is a silent friend  you can gnaw on with one hand as you let your mind wander.  If your WiP is really giving you trouble?  You can also throw a popcorn ball.  It will likely stick to a wall, which - let's face it.  That's just good fun.  :)  And don't forget - this nummy treat you're enjoying?  Just like your initial idea, your little kernel of a story - it didn't really get good until you applied a little heat and popped it open and layered it with some sweet plots and deliciously delightful characters.

Happy writing today!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Find the Story Friday!! Love = Magic...

Do you agree?  There's something inherently magical about love, falling in love, that know the one.  If you're one of the lucky ones who've snagged your soul mate - celebrate!  Often ~ :)  Sunsets are also pretty magical and they set just the right mood - so, I hope you enjoy the final February romantic pic.  Here you go....


OK - so magic IS real.  Your MCs are in a place that's known to be a mystical power center.  Keeping romance in mind...Tell me - what are they doing there? 

Happy Friday!  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  And if you missed and would like to visit the other romantic Feb. spots you can click HERE and HERE and HERE:)  *Oh!  1 more thing - I almost forgot to reveal the lie in yesterday's post!  I do not actually have a steamy love scene in the middle of my wip (but, maybe I should?)....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

An Interview - Crusader Challenge Style...

Happy Thursday, everyone!  Today, I'm participating in the first crusader challenge.  And even for my wonderful followers who aren't crusading, I hope you'll find this (somewhat) enjoyable. 

The gist:  In 300 words - I'm supposed to tell the following about myself:  a secret, a lie, a interesting quirk, an annoying habit, an awesome character trait, a favorite thing...and all this while incorporating the following words seamlessly:  blade, rabbit, bloviate and fuliguline.

So - here's my attempt...300 words exactly:

“Donea! So nice to have you with me today.”

“Thanks, Blade. It’s nice to be here.”

"My name’s Wesley.”

*blank stare*

“Moving on…tell us about your book?”

“I’m glad you ask. Far be it from me to bloviate about my vast writing talent, but I have to say the love scene in the middle would put a rabbit to shame.”

“Can you give us a snippet?”

“Isn’t this a family show?”

“We’re on the Internet.”

“But, I haven’t enabled my content warning.”

“Umm. How about we just talk about you?”


“Well, why don’t you tell us a little about yourself. Likes, dislikes, whatever you’d like.”

“I hate it when people use big, fancy-schmancy words for one thing when they could say the same thing in a simple way. Like – fuliguline. Seriously? It’s a duck.”

“You did just use ‘bloviate’ in a sentence, didn’t you?”


“But, I know what you mean.”

*picks fingernails* “I also love to travel. If I had the money, that’s probably all I’d do. But, I have to settle for midnight drives by the fields or mountains close to home. You know, stereo blasting, sunroof open, singing at the top of my lungs. It’s cheap, but it’s still an adventure for a girl on a budget. What else? I love my family, fiercely. And I like to think I’m always honest with people.”

“Really? What do you think of my hair?”

“It's hideous.”

"You’re right. This buzz cut went out in the '90's, didn't it?”

“Hey, I feel your pain.  I've been known to cut my own bangs at times.  Not always pretty!”

“Well, looks like we’re approaching our designated word count. Any final words?”

“Just between you and me?”


“This is my first on-line interview. So, thanks much for having me.”

“You’re welcome.”

:)  So - I may have revealed something about myself in my little mock interview that isn't strictly true.  Do you know what it is?  Hit me with your best guess, I dare you! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Writerly Wednesday - A Useful Limerick or two...

There once was a girl bent to query
her novel about some daft faerie
she opened with "He..."
The agent did flee
And now the girl's gorging cold dairy.

1.  Ahhhh...the debate about opening your novel with dialogue.  You can click HERE to see what agent  John Sternfeld of the Irene Goodman agency has to say on the subject (plus some other query-don't tips!).

There is a blog called Falling Leaflets
a follower, here's what he or she gets
Writing tips galore
scroll down and there's more
You'll love all the info, is my bet(s)

2.  Seriously - if you aren't following Jess, you need to check out her blog of wonderful writery references.  The other day she posted this great list of 50 things your novel will be judged on.  Check it out HERE!

There once was a writer who cried,
"I think my creative muse died!"
No worries, take stock
It's just writer's block
Eat chocolate to pass the time, bide.

3.  Let's see, I've recently blogged about Brain Freeze and using I-Tunes shuffle to magic 8-ball my way through writer's block.  Why?  Because I have this accursed affliction!!  But, I want to thank everyone for their encouraging comments and tips on what gets you through it.  Everything from eating copious amounts of chocolate to visualizing your story via a brain-movie - I appreciate the support and suggestions!  And just for fun - I googled some other ideas for getting through writer's block that you can read about HERE.

If there's anything you'd like to add/comment on - I'd LOVE to hear it!

And that, my lovely peeps, is all I've got for you this Writerly Wednesday!  Happy Writing/Editing out there!

Monday, February 21, 2011

3M - In which I-Tunes becomes a Magic 8-ball...kind of...

First of all - just wanted to wave a BIG HELLO to all my new followers and fellow crusaders!  *waves*  :)  The buzz and support from Rach's fabulous crusade has just been wonderful.  Trust me - the rest of my Monday will be dedicated to following/following back.  My pleasure, of course!

In other news...  So, I've had a wicked case of writer's block lately.  I've been reading, I've been blogging, but I've written, oh, maybe a paragraph or two in the last week or three.  I open up my MS and can only re-read what's already there or stare at a blinking cursor.  Not fun.

I tried turning to other artistic media for inspiration, but my Veronica Mars DVD marathon this weekend, despite its witty banter, didn't quite do it for me.  I'm sitting here and aside from what I'm typing, my mind is rather blank.  Argh!  You hate writer's block when it happens, right?  And if it never happens to you, suck you're very lucky.

So, I'm turning to another artistic medium to see if it will crack this hazy brown brick in my brain.  My I-tunes library.  I figure all the songs in it are there for a reason.  They've inspired me in some way.  My approach is initially for fun - but, I encourage you all to play along.  (*and if you don't have I-tunes, any music library/collection will do)

Today - I-Tunes shuffle will serve as a writer's block magic 8-ball.  Kind of. 

The idea behind the 8-ball is to tell the future in a vague, could-really-apply-to-anything manner.  I-tunes shuffle, obviously, will give different results.  *However - this is by no means a guide to the future writing in my MS.  It's merely to get the creative juices flowing.  If nothing else - I might have fun figuring out how to make my villain use....*pauses to shuffle*... "There She Goes" by Sixpence None the Richer to his/her advantage...

OK - so my random MS question of the day?  "I will find inspiration regarding the relationship between MC and (bleeped-out specific relative) by listening to...*again, pauses to shuffle*... Peter Murphy's "Cuts You Up".  Hmmm....interesting...(a tad disturbing, maybe)...but interesting.

OK, now it's your turn.  Any part of your current work giving you some trouble?  Ask a question and Shuffle It!  And please let me know what song you end up with?

Happy Mood Music Monday!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Find the Story Friday!!! Waterfalls are romantic...right?

Happy Friday!  I wonder - is silence or soft, soothing sounds absolutely necessary for romance?  I mean - waterfalls are sexy.  You're with me on this, aren't you?  Hard water cascading over a taut body....wet kisses...the rush, the clean smell, the foam... :)  Oh, and don't forget the mud (because there would be some around the edges...from the spray...).  I hear wrestling around in the stuff is a turn on for some know, or so I've heard.  Not that I have any personal experience with this...honest!

(Where was I, now?) 

So - here's my pic of the week:


See!??  Hubba, hubba - right?  Ok - so now it's your turn.  Your MCs are strolling along and come upon this lovely waterfall.  WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Have a fantabulous weekend ~ :)  (Oh, and if you'd like to see the other Find the Story romantic places for Feb. click HERE and HERE.)

Thursday, February 17, 2011


OK - so this is you:  *bows*  "Oh smart one!  What wisdom do you have for me today?"

This is me:  *does a busy head roll*  "Ummm, dude.  I think you've totally got the wrong person..."

Yeah, so I'd been up for awhile, crafting this awesome post for Colene and Alexia's St. Patty's Day blogfest. 

(here's a good place to plug the blogfest - so here you go!)

(remember to enter HERE!!)

Set it up to auto-post on the selected day...tomorrow, right?  Because it will be the 17th.  Ummm - KNOCK, KNOCK - "Hello?!!"  It's only now that I realize that it's only February.  *shakes head*  So, I'm afraid all I have to leave you with today is a picture of my brain as it currently looks:

Happy Thursday!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It goes without saying, and for all intents and purposes, CLICHES should be avoided at this point in time...

Welcome to Writerly Wednesday at The QoP!  I hope I'm posting this in a timely fashion.  Wouldn't want the cold shoulder from you.  I do try to offer up entertaining, useful tidbits for my lovely followers...wouldn't want you all to kick me to the curb, after all.  :)

(you caught all the "blech", right?  Smarty pants - I KNEW you would!)

So, if you missed me gushing about the Grammar Divas workshop I went to a few weeks ago - you can read about it HERE.  And if you did catch it, you know that I promised to share some fabulous tip I learned.  I decided to go with cliches, euphemisms, and idioms.  We use them all the time.  Heck!  They crop up in my writing ALL the time.  BUT, as the writing world continues to tell us...and frankly, I agree...using these common, overused phrases in your writing steals away your voice, your style and your tone.

Here's a handy list I got from the fab Grammar Divas of cliches, euphemisms, and idioms to watch for in your writing:

ace in the hold                       goes to show                      sick and tired
all wet                                     goes without saying           sigh of relief
as a matter of fact                 high and mighty                  significant other
at this point in time                in a nut shell                        sneaking suspicion
babe in the woods                 in a timely fashion              take exception
before long                             in place of                           take offense to
behind the eight ball              kick to the curb                   time and time again
better safe than sorry            knuckle under                      the long and short
cold shoulder                          like the plague                    tip of the iceberg
couldn't care less                   long and short of it              tried and true
day in and day out                  on the part of                       under the gun
down and dirty                        on thin ice                             wakeup call
fear and trembling                  par for the course                whole other story
few and far between               poor excuse for              window of opportunity
fly in the face of                       put on an act                         sick and tired
for all intents and purposes   rock and a hard place          sigh of relief

Now, I'll have to say that I'm of the opinion that eliminating ALL of these phrases from your writing may not be necessary.  Let's face it - this is how the world talks.  But, overusing them in your writing....well, ultimately your call.  Tell me - What's one cliche, euphemism or idiom that just makes you cringe when you read it?  What's your take on using them in writing?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Flowing Fonts and Poor Richard!! In 500 words...

Happy Tuesday, everyone!!  And a big, warm UT welcome to new followers and crusaders!!  Current followers - don't think I'm leaving you out ~ this is especially for you... :D

Today, I'm posting my entry (I use that term loosely, you'll understand once you read it...) into Madeleine's fabulous FLOWING  FONTS contest!!  You can read all about it and sign up (you've got till 2/28!!) over at her lovely Scribble and Edit blog found HERE.

Poor Richard. The Californian FB page he’d consulted before visiting L.A. assured him driving his own car would be a Snap. Too many wingdings on the road, he found. After surfing the crowd all night at a midnight ravie, he wished for a cab ride anyhow. But, it wasn’t all bad. He did meet enigmatic Estrangelo Edessa, an Algerian entrepreneur who’d recently relocated to Cali and hobnobbed with the off-Broadway circuit.

 He told Richard he’d married a Harrington (like that was supposed to mean something?) and his invention of the Instamatic cocktail chiller was going to have a huge impact on the world’s alcohol economy. With his fancy onyx ring and his cool use of Informal Roman (it was a real, if obscure language used in Eastern Europe, Edessa had told him), how could Richard not believe every word that crossed this Mistral’s lips. He’d have been better off believing Dad was a centaur and Niagara Falls had suddenly become Niagara solid!

But, he gave his money to Estrangelo anyhow. Returns on his investment were supposed to be short coming, but after a near century of time passed, Richard decided to hunt down Mr. “Jokerman”. His quest led him to Georgia, to a seedy cooper black motel called the Modern No. 20. He found his swindler writing freestyle script on the motel walls with a Lucida calligraphy marker. Estrangelo wrote the same three words over and over again, “Bookshelf Symbol 7.”

 “What does it mean?” Richard begged. “Is that where my money is, you son of a shruti!”

 Estrangelo only clutched his chest and toppled over dead.

 Richard searched the man’s pockets and pulled out a piece of parchment. There was an a(e)rial map of the town etched there and a black X on Cambria Rd.

 Hopping back in his car, he followed the map’s direction and stopped in front of an old brick library that had “Verba de futuro” in wide latin letters chiseled above the entrance. “Words about the future”, Dick translated. He may have been cheated, but he was still an educated man.

 He stumbled across the threshold and sought out the librarian, an old woman with short silver hair and a name badge calling her Ms. Marlett.

 “Bookshelf Symbol 7?” he asked.

 She pointed a bony finger to a bookshelf at the back of the room. As he got closer, he saw the 7 carved along the edge of the case. Every book there had its spine facing outwards except one. He took the, by all accounts, “book antiqua” off the shelf carefully and laid it on a nearby table.

 A twenty dollar bill stuck out between the pages. Richard pulled it out and looked at the face of it, dumbfounded. “Verba de futuro” was written there. A post-it note on the back of the bill served another slap to his face. “Gotcha, sucker! Here’s my words about your future. You don’t have one, because I’ve still got all your money. Better luck next time, Dick.”

So...there you have it!  The lesson here?  In case anyone approaches you about investing in an automatic cocktail chiller?  Don't do it!!!  It already exists.  Yeah, it's called "ice".  :)  Happy writing today!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Just kiss already!!! Blogfest entry and Celebration Winners....

Happy V-day!!!  Today, I'm participating in Christina Lee's "Just Kiss Already Blogfest".  Thanks for a fun one, Christina!  If you're in the mood for a little smooching today... please click HERE to visit the rest of the participants ~

My blogfest entry here (from my WiP "The Glass Prince" - YA - urban fantasy):

Clara stood up again and walked back through the tunnel. She stopped at the mouth of it. Neil was looking right at her. She waved to him and he shrugged a silent “what’s taking so long?” She held up one finger and turned back around. Rion was right there, a few inches away from her, both of them hidden behind a wall of Ivy. Clara felt a flutter in her belly.

“He was right, you know,” he said, his voice low and breathy. “You are beautiful.”

Clara grabbed on to Rion, but only because she suddenly felt dizzy. He held on to her and pulled her closer to him. Their bodies touched. She saw his head tilt lower towards her own. She felt his breath warm on her face. She wanted to turn and run, but her legs were as solid as the stone columns all around them. His lips touched lightly on hers at first. But, then he kissed her hard and deep with an urgency she didn’t quite understand. She surrendered to him completely. Images began to fill her head, more and more and faster the longer they kissed. She saw disjointed pictures, apples and crowns, the glass prince, her grandmother, her father’s face.

She pushed him away then and rubbed the back of her hand across her lips.

“Quit doing that!” she yelled at him. She turned and ran back up the stairs until she reached Neil.


Ok - and one last bit of business today ~ my winners for my 100+ celebration!!! 


Lydia Kang

Jemi Fraser

Donna Weaver

J.C. Martin

If you would all please e-mail me (donealw(at)aol(dot)com) your info - I'll make sure to get your prizes out asap!  Hope you all have a day full of LOVE ~ :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Find the Story Friday! A great place for a picnic...

Let's just give it to you:


A picnic in the country - between lovers, friends, families, new acquaintances - a checkered quilt spread out, a wicker basket full of goodies, some wine or sparkling cider chilling nearby.  It's a warm day in early September, but you keep a striped umbrella close...just in case.  The air mingles scents of damp grass and history.

Tell me, please - what brings your characters, whoever they may be, to this place on this day?

Happy Friday, everyone ~ :) 

And if you haven't already, don't forget to get in on my 100+ follower celebration.  Click HERE.  You've got until Sunday, 2/13.  Winners will be announced on Monday, 2/14.  Best of luck!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

This is Me Thursdays - Dishin' on Pretty Little Liars!!

How's your Thursday treating you?  Good?  Fabulous!  :)  *Quick shout out to any new followers here from the Crusade or just because ~ welcome!

Ok - so this is a little bit for the YA writers out there.  Also for voracious tv fans, like me....
The elusive "they" say that to write a genre, you should also read that genre.  I'll take that a step further and suggest that you also watch your chosen genre.  And the trendy teen show that's out there for the youth of the world right now?  ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars  (In Utah, for Comcast users...that's channel 28 on Monday nights @ 9pm MDT).  It's one thing to read a YA novel and picture the MC in your head, how they look, how they talk, what they wear, if they flip their hair, how they look at a cute boy/girl, how they walk, etc.  It's a WHOLE different thing to see how the world sees them on screen, and how the actors/actresses slated to play your favorite characters choose to portray them.

Ok - but, enough with my soap box...let's introduce you to the players!  *Quick synopsis - 4 teenage friends deal with the aftermath of their friend's unsolved murder and band together to find the elusive, omniscient "A" who threatens to air their dirty laundry to the town and might even be the killer!  **note:  all pictures posted courtesy of the official PLL website found HERE or

First - the dead girl:

Ali...aka "the-best-friend-you're-lucky-you-never-had"
  Her 4 friends:
Hanna                Spencer               Emily                   Aria

Hanna is the former fat-girl turned popular (sort of clawed her way to the top).
Spencer is the uber-rich over-achiever, pressured to be the best.
Emily is the athlete, who's struggled in the past with her sexual identity.
Aria is the artsy, would-be-writer, old soul who hooked up with her English teacher.
*Side note - but, seriously!!!  By the show of virtual hands, how many of you went to school with a quartet of girls this ridiculously beautiful and put-together?  I mean, really???  I digress...

Ok - now meet the could-be, elusive "A"s:
         Ian                                    Jenna                               Lucas                                    Maya


             Toby                                  Melissa

Ian - the "older" man, who before Ali's murder was dating Melissa (Spencer's older sister), all the while having a side-fling with Ali AND Spencer.  He was also with Ali the night she died...dun, dun, dun....
Jenna - I know she doesn't look it in her pic, but she's blind.  Compliments of an prank-gone-wrong by Ali and her friends.  Revenge, anyone?  She's also in lurve with her step-brother, Toby.
Lucas - token geek boy, relentlessly tortured and publically humiliated by Ali.  She called him "Hermy the Hermaphrodite" cruel, poor guy.  He's also crushing hard on Hanna, but she just likes him as a friend...
Maya - new girl in town and love interest to Emily.  Oh!  And guess where she lives?  Ali's old house.  Guess what she threw out on the first show?  Some stuff left in Ali's old room.  Could there have been a journal there?  Tapes?  Dirt needed to, say...oh...blackmail people?  Hmmm....
Toby - This poor guy's the current patsy.  He lived in Ali's neighborhood.  Ali didn't like him.  (The stink bomb set off in his "special place" by Ali and her friends is the cause of Jenna's blindness).  Ali knew about him and Jenna and threatened to tell.  But, the poor guy's innocent I tell ya! INNOCENT!  (or is that what they want me to think?)
Melissa - the jilted sister.  There's a darn good reason she'd have killed Ali.  Her quickie marriage to and even quickie-er pregnancy with possibly the last person to see Ali alive is just a bit too convenient for my liking...

Ok, admittedly - this is a show sprinkled with cheese.  But, it has taught me some valuable lessons about what's trending with teens today.  Apparently, the beret is back in style.  I could never pull it off, but that's another matter.  And have you heard about "glamping"?  Heck, when I went into the woods with a tent - all I came away with were mosquito bites and a serious urge to shower!!  Oh, and texting is the new way to stalk and blackmail people.  Just so you know.  But, seriously - this show's a great look into what's all the rage with teens right now.  And how can that do anything but help the aspiring YA Writer!!

And for serious fans of the show....tell me?  Who do you think "A" is?  My theory?  Melissa did it in a jealous rage, upon finding Ian and Ali together.  He said he'd keep her secret, but ran away for awhile to avoid suspicion.  Now that he's back - they hurried and tied the knot because spouses can't testify against eachother.  (that's a law, right?)  And the pregnancy is to beg leniency from the jurors on the off-chance she's found out.  Am I right?  Guess we'll find out eventually.....  :)  Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Writerly Wednesday - The Grammar Divas!

Happy Wednesday, all!  And a BIG welcome to new crusading followers ~ woot!  I'll be by soon.  (*if you have no idea what I'm talking about - scroll to the bottom for some awesome!)

So, this past Saturday I was lucky enough to attend a (free!) Grammar seminar put on by The Grammar Divas!  Check out their fabulous website HERE.  Oh, I'm tellin' ya!  This is EXACTLY what I needed!  It was a wonderful refresher.  Especially when I was feeling a bit like this:

Yep.  Ready to toss the whole darn WiP OUT!  (I get like this's a thing..)  Sometimes I forget about the little things that are supposed to make my writing better.  I skip over that darned passive voice and "was" becomes invisible.  To be honest, as much as I LOVED this seminar, I did come away wanting to cry a little...knowing what I'd find when I opened up my WiP again.  Revisions are hard.  But, you know...I think they just might be worth it.  And if you've got some good grammar tips on the side?  BONUS!

I know what you're thinking..."She's going to share some of the awesome with us, right?  RIGHT?!"  No worries.  The answer is "Yes."

First - some advice on editing to get you into the right mind-set, (mostly) verbatim from my Grammar Divas handout:

-  You can't edit until you have something written.  Don't worry about the technical stuff until your first draft is finished.  (This one is targeted to you edit-as-you-go writers!  You know who you are...)

-  Editing as you go does not save time.  Give yourself permission to have cheese puffs in the first draft so you don't get hung up on potential problems.

(ok, this one really spoke to me)  Writing and editing are two different skills that require two different mindsets.  Writing - right brain; editing- left brain.  Get your story down first with your right brain, then edit with your left.  If possible, take some time out between typing "The End" on your first draft and beginning the editing process.  Plan your next novel or just relax.

They also suggest that you change typeface, size, or color before printing a hard copy of your novel to edit.  You read differently on screen versus a hard copy, they say.  So the change to what you've been looking at while typing will force your brain to see it differently on the page.

OH!  And don't forget to read your prose aloud and S-L-O-W-L-Y!  This should bring to light any pacing and grammar errors.  You'll know.

ALSO - as you mark up your printout, remember to fix issues LATER.  Don't stop editing to fix things on the computer.  REMEMBER - writing and editing are two different skills that require two different mindsets.  *And take a breather before you cut all the fat found from the hard-copy editing session.  You need to get away from that inner critic telling you "see, I told you you weren't a good writer."  (it's not remotely true, of course!)   Give yourself some distance to think about what needs fixing and what doesn't.

You're wondering where the actual grammar tip is, right?  Ok - don't get your panties/boxers/tightywhities in a twist!  I'll post ALL about that NEXT Wednesday?  (Yes, I'm well aware I'm a brat!)

This is just some advice (to take with a grain of salt, if you have a different process that works for you...), ALL from the Grammar Divas, to think about before you get started and actually need those grammar tips to fix what might need to be fixed.  Hope you find it helpful.  I did!

And - one last thing...If you haven't been by Rachael Harrie's blog lately - you need to go.  Like, NOW!  Pretty please?  :)  She's launched her 2nd Annual Writer's Platform-Building Crusade.  Pretty awesome!

Join the Crusade TODAY - Feb. thru April 30th!!
You can read all about it by clicking HERE!  Now go forth and write, my bloggy friends!  And have a spectacular day ~ :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday's Mood Music Choice - Foolish Heart

I must have love on the brain or something...sorry.  I'll break it up for a minute and type, "Woo Hoo Packers!!"  For the 1 football game a year that I actually watch in its entirety, it was a pretty good game!  And I imagine erica & christy are ecstatic ~ :)  And my favorite commercial?  The Dorito's one with the grandpa - too funny!!!  WHAT WAS YOURS?

Now to the music - here's what I've got for you.  AND - you must confess!!  How many of you have sat alone somewhere, your car, you bedroom, in the tub, outside on a rainy day, etc. and listened to this song?

It's ok.  You can tell me.  It will be our little secret...

Happy (or sad, now that I've dredged up a painful break-up memory for you...) Monday!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My Top Ten Best Horror/Sci-Fi Quotes - Blogfest!!

OK, before I get into this...tell me:

Is it just me?  Or does that TOTALLY look like a flying saucer????  :)

Thanks to Ellie Garrett and Jeremy of iZombielover for hosting this uber cool blogfest!  Make sure you check out the list of other participants HERE.  OK, so I'm going to mix and match some quotes for you.  Mainly because I suck at remembering the specifics in movies and TV shows (yes - I'm including tv quotes...turns out I watch more sci-fi tv shows than movies...)  Except for the really, really well known phrases - which, sorry to say, you'll probably see listed below.  (Forgive me?)  I DO, however, LOVE a good horror or sci-fi flick/tv show!  So here goes:

1. Michael Meyers in Halloween:   "....."  (that's not cheating, is it?)
2. Tatum in Scream:  "Stupidity leak!"
3. Sydney Prescott, on the nature of horror movies, in Scream:  "What's the point they're all the same, some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door.  It's insulting." 
4.Regan/Demon in The Exorcist:  "What an excellent day for an exorcism."  *chills!*  (scariest movie EVER!)
5. Minnie in The Changeling (1980):  "That house is not fit to live in."  (OK, not the best quote - but a great no-gore scary movie!)
6. Spock in Star Trek II:  "I have been, and ever shall be, your friend.  Live long and prosper."
7. Capt. Picard in nearly every episode of TNG:  "Make it so."
8.  Seven of Nine during the "dark days" on Voyager:  "Resistance is Futile."
9.  (two parter)  Jack O'Neill to Teal'c on Stargate: SG1:  (Jack) "Damn!  Guess I'm going to have to cancel that Oprah interview."  (Teal'c)  "What is an Oprah?"
10.  Mal in Serenity:  "Half of writing history is hiding the truth."

Ah, man!  I think maybe I could have pulled 10 sci-fi quotes alone ~ Farscape (I so crushed on John Crichton!), Star Wars (Team Hans, all the way!), Deep Space Nine, BSG, SG: Atlantis....

But, I'll stop there and send you off with this:  


(ummm...OK, imagine I'm a Vulcan and the V is two fingers...)

Write long and prosper!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Find the Story Friday! Secret Lovers...

In honor of Valentine's Day this month - all my find-the-story pics will be of (hopefully) romantic locales that any two of your characters would (hopefully) love to find themselves when they need a know...alone time.  *wink wink*

This one I like to call:


A secret place...

Sometimes love is a secret.  Romeo & Juliet, Jack & Marilyn, Buffy & Spike (hee, hee), Henry Cavill and yours truly.... (yeah, you haven't heard about us before because it's a SECRET!  shhh...).  A lot of times in stories, love even just starts out as a secret. 

Care to dish about some hush-hush love starring your MCs?

Happy Friday and have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

This is Me Thursdays - Face Off


So...I guess I did give you all permission to skip Thursdays, didn't I?  My intent on the the 5th day of the week is to dish about me, my likes, dislikes, this, that and the other.  I'll warn you now - this may be a whole lot of, "So...did you watch that show on t.v...."  Because - I spend WAY too much of my time watching the ol' boob tube.  Is there serioulsy a scientific study out there that equates t.v. time with the loss of brain cells?  (that would explain a lot, actually...)

Anywho!!  Some of my faves of late tend to be reality tv shows about really creative people.  Project Runway is the one that got me ADDICTED!!  And I can't sew a stitch.

I also love, loVE, LOVE Top Chef.  (and can you believe the SyFy channel gave Marcel his own show???)

I watched one called Work of Art last year.  I can't say that I totally GOT or agreed with some of the art that the judges seemed to love...  Still, I'd like to see it come back for another season.  (yeah, I also can't draw or paint or sculpt or any of these cool things, so big KUDOS to those who can!)

But, the new one that has caught my attention is a show on the SyFy Channel called Face Off.

As you can see - it's a challenge for Hollywood make-up artists to turn a human into something....else.  This is most certainly an art form!  It even involves a little chemistry.  I saw guys and girls transformed into beetles, elephant-like creatures, and strange ostrich/human hybrids.  There was even a rather disturbing prom date disaster.  Some amazing talent - truly!

As writers, I know a lot of us can really appreciate the different avenues of creativity that other people explore.  So, tell me - What's your Favorite other-than-writing art form?

Happy Thursday!  Oh - btw, here's another plug for my 100+ followers celebration.  If you're not in on it yet, please enter HERE!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Writerly Wednesday: Blending Action, Narrative and Dialogue

Ok, so please make me feel a little better about myself and tell me that I'm not the only one who struggles with balancing just the right mix of action, narrative and dialogue in their writing?  Oh.  You, too?  *phew*

This topic popped up in my e-mail, courtesy of today's Writer's Digest newsletter.  If you're interested in reading an expanded version of the article, by Gloria Kempton - you can access it HERE.

I'm giving you the cliff-notes version.  Since this seems to be the season of revision, revision, and - oh, yeah - a little more revision, Gloria offers some questions you can ask yourself to make sure that your story is balanced:


There are no hard-and-fast rules about when and when not to blend dialogue, action and narrative. To weave them together well is to find your story's rhythm. But there are a few questions you can ask yourself about your story, especially in the rewrite stage, that can help you know which elements are most effective for a particular scene, and which might be better used elsewhere.

Ask yourself:

-Is the story moving a little too slowly, and do I need to speed things up? (Use dialogue.)
-Is it time to give the reader some background on the characters so they're more sympathetic? (Use narrative, dialogue or a combination of the two.)
-Do I have too many dialogue scenes in a row? (Use action or narrative.)
-Are my characters constantly confiding in others about things they should only be pondering in their minds? (Use narrative.)
-Likewise, are my characters alone in their heads when my characters in conversation would be more effective and lively? (Use dialogue.)
-Is my story top-heavy in any way at all—too much dialogue, too much narrative or too much action? (Insert more of the elements that are missing.)
-Are my characters providing too many background details as they're talking to each other?
(Use narrative.)

Whether we're using dialogue, action or narrative to move the story forward, any or all three of these elements are doing double duty by revealing our characters' motives. Your story's dialogue can reveal motive in a way that's natural and authentic, because whether we're aware of it or not, we reveal our own motives all the time in our everyday lives.

And to understand a character's motive is to understand the character.

*So, if you're anything like me...little lists of things to look for are always a plus!  I hope this tip makes your writing journey a little easier today.  Tell me - What do you do to find the balance in your writing?  Happy revising!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Award and Random Facts...

So, I'm taking this random Tuesday to catch up on recognizing 3 awesome bloggers who recently awarded me the Stylish Blogger Award:

Much thanks to Damyanti @ Amlockiblogs, Cher Green @ Footsteps of a Writer, and Kimberly @ Meetings with my Muse.  If you haven't stopped by the blogs of these lovely ladies - please do so today!

So - another random 7 things about me...hmmm....I've got to add a disclaimer here that I'm actually writing this thing close to 2am (on a work night...*whimpers*) so if they come off strange, or boring, or both... my apologies in advance:

1. After watching way too much Man vs. Food - I've decided I really want to go down South.  Just for the food... :)
2. I ate Little Caesar's pizza and breadsticks for dinner...(I know, I know...but it was cheap and easy.  I am not...)
3. While lip-syncing to "Walk Like an Egyptian" for a Jr. High talent show - I did a back flip and my shirt went up.  Well...all I can say is that the guys enjoyed my performance...
4. My friends and I used to do the "3-way call".  You know the one...
5. I'm wearing a maroon shirt right now
6. I'm also super tired and should be in bed
7. Cool bit of news...I won a free mug today!!  Yay!!

Ok - so now I'm cheating, because I'm kind of amazed I can still type at this point.  But - seriously.  I know some AMAZING bloggers!  So - anyone who doesn't have this lovely little Stylish Blogger award on their side bar - please feel free to nick it right now!  Really - you have my full support and permission to do so.  And hopefully, you're just waking up from a nice long rest as you read about it.  :)  Happy Tuesday!