Saturday, May 30, 2009

The World is too Much with Me

When Wordsworth wrote the lines, “The world is too much with us,” he was referring to the fact that people were more concerned with material things and social status than with nature and spirituality. Well, this weekend the world has been too much with me. What I mean by this is that all of the crazy things in my life have stifled my creativity. Instead of reading a book or writing, I have watched movies, texted friends, wrote emails, surfed the web, shopped, baked, and entertained the idea that I should buy a new thumb drive.

Wordsworth would be so disappointed. I really should have been outside observing nature like a poet, but instead I opted to observe technology. Perhaps I should write a sonnet, Ode to my Blackberry (which, incidentally, I cannot live without). Maybe I can be forgiven because of the fact that my apartment complex pales in comparison the English countryside. Also, my margarita bucket has nothing on opium or laudanum.

What is this crazy woman's point you ask? My point is that my poor novel is sitting there waiting for revisions, and I am neglecting its needs! My characters are suspended in time. They are waiting for me to give them life again, and to write some new experiences for them. They want to be seen and heard, and I have chosen to ignore their voices. When I get caught up in writing, time flies by, and before I know it, the weekend is over. I really needed to rest, and I really needed a nice long break.

So, sorry I haven’t been commenting on blogs or beta reading this weekend. I’m just tired. On a happy note, I have decided to adopt a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel rescue pup. I filled out some applications, prayed about it, and am waiting for the right one to come along. It was easier than finding a husband. *snicker*

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yeah Baby...I've Just Been Gnominated!

I bet you all can't guess who this came from! Thank you so much Marybeth for this wonderful gnome award. It REALLY made my day. I'll display it proudly on my blog with a link to yours. You rock!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Holy Revisions Batman!

Do you ever feel frustrated because you have a vision for your WIP, but you don’t know how to go about getting it there? It’s pretty overwhelming at times. I am working hard on revisions for The Heart is Lonely Still. Some days I feel like I have a handle on it, and other days I feel completely out of control. I know all about layers, and perhaps I am just frustrated at how long it takes to perfect a manuscript. I can’t possibly get this up to snuff after two revisions, maybe not even three or four, five or six, or ever! I do know this…I won’t put this book down until I get it as perfect as I can.

The amazing thing is that I am reading and taking in everything I can from agents, editors, and other writers (published and not). It has helped tremendously to beta read too! It’s good to know that we all experience the same things, feelings, thoughts, and emotions. There is a whole community of people out there who are willing to help. How cool is that? So what if some of them have margarita drinking gladiators named Tyrone as their main characters! We still love them, and that's why I love all of you.

Speaking of amazing writers and blogs. I just got through reading this post on Linda Sandifer’s blog, Writing out West, about using your senses in writing. If you haven’t already read it, jump on over. She has published numerous books, and her blog rocks!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Blog Award

Thank you so much Danyelle from Myth-Takes for the lovely blog award. You are simply awesome too my dear!

Now, I am going follow in Beth's footsteps and award this blog award to the first five people who respond to this post. As far as I'm concerned you are ALL winners. Thanks for the constant support and for helping me keep my sanity!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Scott's Main Character

Scott, I thought I would post it for you...since you aren't up on that whole adding photos and videos to blogger thing. Photoshop snobs, appreciate the comedic value please! I have no clue what I'm doing. *snicker*

Here is a link to Scott's blog...jump on over for a visit!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just for Fun

I really wanted to get a visual of them... my characters that is! These are the faces I visualize in The Heart is Lonely Still...


Kate Beckinsale as Kate Harrington


Colin Firth as Henry Clarke


Jude Law as Jude Matthews


Richard Armitage as John Clement


Rosamund Pike as Jane Clayborne


Lucy Griffiths as Claire Clement

Question: What faces would you pick to represent your characters?

In Honor of Hamlet

In the spirit of all that is Shakespeare, I felt compelled to post the scene in Hamlet from which I named my blog. I LOVE the way Kenneth Branagh works this scene where Hamlet further adds to Polonius's belief that he has gone mad.

Not only is Hamlet my favorite play by Shakespeare, but the character Hamlet is one of my all-time favorite literary characters. He is so wonderfully complex, yet simple at the same time. I was also inspired to post this because of Michelle's post at the Literary Lab. If you haven't visited the Fab Three at the Lit Lab...jump on over.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Couple of Must Reads...

Literary Agent Rachel Gardner's post, “How Do You Learn to Write,” drew in comments and infinite wisdom from published and non-published writers alike. The comments read like a tutorial on how to become a good writer, and ultimately, good enough to publish. If you haven’t read it, I recommend that you do.

Authoress on Miss Snark’s First Victim posted on the “over shopped” query. Sometimes writers send their queries through so many critiques that their voice gets lost in the shuffle. Great post...something to think about.

Oh...don't forget about Editorial Ass and his "Publishing Light Bulb Jokes". Great comedic relief!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Editing Bloopers

So, all day today I have been reading through my manuscript, crossing things out, and rewriting when I came across a scene where one of my main character’s mother passes away. To set up the scene, the character (John) gets a phone call from his family, saying they want to take their mother off of life support. Well, when he arrives at the hospital, he is able to talk to his mother. In fact, she talks to everyone until the doctor comes and takes away the life support.

I laughed so hard I was crying. Obviously, if someone is on life support, they won’t be talking to anyone. If they are awake and talking…why would a doctor come in a pull the plug on them? Can you say…bad soap opera? Not what I want, so clearly I will be doing some heavy duty edits there. So funny!

What are some of the funniest things you found while editing? Especially a first draft…

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wordle for The Heart is Lonely Still

You are NOT Your Writing

I was inspired to write this post from Nathan Bransford’s post about not letting writing define you. I wholeheartedly agree. I used to define myself by the work I was doing. When I became a teacher, I was thrilled. My job meant everything to me, and anything that threatened my position would cause me to sink into depression. Every “see me” from the principal of the school where I was working might as well have been a pink slip. It came to the point where the fear of losing my job became all encompassing. Then I realized something very important. I was tying my whole identity and self-worth into my job. My job defined me. Without it, who was I?

I see this same thing happening to some writers. In fact, I felt this way when I finished my novel. I entered a small tidbit into a Drop the Needle contest on Miss Snark’s First Victim. Of course, I had no business doing this because my novel is only a first draft! What did I expect? Well the outcome wasn’t good. It makes me laugh now because I have grown so much since that time. Seriously, too funny! After the contest I was crushed, and now I know why. Once again I was putting my self-worth into something that I had no business putting it into.

Your job and your writing are transitory, meaning they come and go. Change is inevitable. If you tie your self-worth into transitory things, it will also come and go. Self-worth may change and grow as we change and grow, but it should be tied to only one thing, you. Perhaps this may be the key to acceptance when something doesn’t work out the way you want it to. Usually when things don’t work out, your higher power is sending you in another direction.

Having said this, I think publishing is a good goal but not the ultimate goal. I put a lot of work into my novel, and I plan to put a lot more work into it. What if it doesn’t get published after I put all of that work into it? Well, I will ask myself what I got out of the process, or what did I learn? Perhaps that is the ultimate goal… the experience, the learning, the life lessons. I have learned so much already, especially from all of you.

This brings me to critiques. A critique, good or bad, is a gift. They help you grow and develop into what we all desire to be…good writers. I always hear successful writers say how the harshest advice they had ever received helped them grow leaps and bounds. Think about it, sometimes rejection puts us back on the right path. It sent me to grad school! Perhaps if we don’t define ourselves by our writing, it might be easier to stomach harsh critiques and rejection. In the end, your book is not YOU.

I know, harder said than done, but think about it. If a book doesn’t work… you learned something. It was worth your while. Now, move on and write another one. You won’t get anywhere by quitting.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Writing Emotion

I have quite a few scenes in my book that are very emotional, but I feel that they aren’t really coming across to the reader that way. I want the reader to feel every emotion. What is the best, most effective way to write intensely emotional scenes? Examples, tricks of the trade, advice anyone?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Printed Manuscript

Baby step one, it's printed. Oh yeah, look at me go. Here it is closed and sitting on my end table...


Here it is open and sitting on my end table...


It is kind of nice to hold it in my hands. It makes it feel more real. Now I take deep breaths as I prepare to read. Oh yeah, and edit. Or, maybe I could have something to eat, watch a movie, take a shower, and then edit.


Just in case you haven't seen this, and on the continuing subject of editing. Please funny!!!

How Sensitive are You?

Somehow I think we are all going to be under the same category! Sad thing is... I wanted to correct the grammar / punctuation on my results. Aye me...

Your Sensitivity Score: 89%
You are an extremely sensitive person. You notice everything.
You've probably been called overly sensitive before, and it's partially true.
Highly sensitive people tend to be highly intelligent. And you just can't turn off that part of you.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Indie Bound

I'm now an affiliate of Indie Bound. If you are a strong supporter of Indie bookstores, you can become an affiliate and earn a small fee for any traffic generated from linking Indie Bound on your webpage or blog.

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Check it out!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Editor Kitteh

I Just don't Know

I don’t know. The more I learn about what I don’t know about writing fiction, and the more blogs about writing that I read, the more I find myself staying away from my book. I am almost afraid to touch it. What if I make it worse? I don’t know where to even start making it better. I suppose this is a “block” of some sort, or more like paralyzed by fear? Good people in blogosphere I need advice. My book is a first draft at this point, and I can see that it’s not up to par. It needs a lot of work. Obviously! Maybe I think it needs more work than it does. Maybe I need more confidence. ARGH! I don’t know!

I read a post the other day that sort of broke the editing process down into steps. I’m thinking this is how you’d avoid feeling as overwhelmed as I do right now. Any good books or recent blog posts that might help? Does anyone else ever feel this way or am I an anomaly?

Wow, I feel good for getting all of that out! I think there is a certain freedom in admitting that you just don't know.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Okay folks….listen up! We have exactly SIX (Yes SIX) months until NanoWrimo. Are you ready? Six months may seem like a long time, but it’s barely enough time for us to get into NanoShape! Get those writer booties in gear and GET READY! Here’s how:

Daily Exercise


Typing takes muscle! That’s right…MUSCLE. If you don’t build those typing muscles, there is no way you will be able to get to the finish line. Here are a few tips for building typing muscles:

  • Weights - tape miniature Hershey bars to all of your fingers for extra weight, then type as usual. The extra weight will help build muscle and you can save the chocolate for Nano month when you are finished! Remember, high reps, low weight!

  • Finger pushups (aka. spider doing pushups on a mirror) - press the tips of all of your fingers together and stretch your palms out, then back in again and again. This can even be done while watching television or talking on the phone.

  • Tap to the music – turn on your favorite music and tap your fingers the beat. Make sure you give all of your fingers the chance to tap…not just your forefinger.

  • Walk – well it’s just good for everything.

  • Clean your bookshelves – it’s good for the arms and shoulders.

  • Wash the tub – builds arm muscles.

  • You get the point…get those fingers a moving!


In order to make up for the ten pounds we are bound to gain from Nano month, we must lose at least ten pounds now to counteract it. A well balanced diet of fruits and veggies will suffice. Watch those carbs! It takes five pounds of chocolate to get a writer through Nano… we want to save our carb calories for that! Don’t forget to take your vitamins.

Gather the Necessities

The following is a list of must-haves for Nano month:

· Chocolate – duh!
· Wine – to relax
· Aspirin – eye strain and muscle strain
· Friends – to bring supplies when needed
· Easy to cook meals – you won’t have time to cook
· Soap – yeah…take showers! Please!
· Vitamin D – you won’t see a lot of sun

Feel free to add to the list!

Just a few pointers for getting ready for NanoWrimo. Hopefully this year there will be the most productive year ever. Good luck to all of you!

So, what do you think?

I’ve finally changed the look of my blog after hours of searching online for the perfect layout (and a few spikes in blood pressure). I really wanted something simpler that I could tweak and make it more “me”. So, what do you think? Incidentally, I didn’t know that I would lose all of my links etc. It was so much fun having to add all of that back on. Not!

I hope you all had a good weekend! Perhaps I will have enough brain power soon to post something worthwhile. Thank you all so much for your ongoing support. It never fails to amaze me how our little community of writers will step up and help each other out. You guys rock!