Sunday, December 27, 2009

Moving Mayhem

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” ~Walt Disney

I'm moving on Tuesday.

Yeah, that's right. Smack dab in the middle of Christmas and New Years. Because, you know, what better time of the year to do one of the top five most stressful life events?

I apologize for my lack of comments and blogging, but I will be buried in boxes for the next few days. I hope you all had a magical Christmas (if you celebrate it) and have a wonderful and prosperous new year.

Photos of the new house soon to come. Wait until you see my new writing area!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS MY WRITER PALS!

Twas two nights before xmas and somewhere in my house,
Was a half written mermaid manuscript,
And a dusty computer mouse,

All my blogger friends waited by their computers with care,
In hopes that my comment soon would be there.
Their kind words and awards all accumulated in my head,
While my gratitude and appreciation still remained left unsaid.

So I slipped on my kerchief, and put the Riesling on tap,
Then booted up my computer instead of taking a much needed nap.
When there on my screen there appeared such a splatter,
Days of colorful comments made my guilty conscience grow fatter.

Away to my dashboard I clicked with a flash,
Scanned through the hundreds of posts and developed a stress rash,
Every update and contest deserved my full attention,
Then I discovered kissing scenes! There were too many to mention.

How? my wandering mind wondered with fear,
Could I ever leave comments for ALL the writer friends I hold dear?
More rapid than cheetahs the fond memories came,
As I sipped wine, pulled my hair out, and called them by name;

“Now Jessica! Now Jennifer! Now Jody, and Jade!
On Catherine! On Carolina! On Bethany and BJ!
To Diana! To Dominique! To Elaine and Ellie!
For Tabitha! For Tricia! For Karen and Kelly!
Hey Joanne! Hey Joyce! Hey Carol Anne and Aubrie!
Hi Georgina! Hi Mireyah! Hi Courtney and Corey!
Oh Lady Glamis! Oh Lotusgirl! Oh Rhiannon and Sara!
Now Mary! Now Marybeth! Now Tess and Tira!
On Shannon M! On Shannon O! On Frankie and Jessie!
To Glass Dragon, To Kristi! To Voidwalker and Vicky!
For Natalie M! For Natalie B! For Megan and Marie!
Hey Susan! Hey Stephanie! Hey Melissa and Patti!”

From the top of my head, to the top of my dashboard wall,
I knew there was no way to properly comment on them all,
So up to the “New Post” button I flew,
With a heart full of love and a big group thank you.

My eyes how they twinkled, my smile was so bright,
As I thought of all my writing pals, on this late holiday night,
You inspire, you entertain, you share, and you teach,
You help keep me and others going when the dream seems out of reach.

Thank you for every story, award, comment, and post,
I’m raising my wine glass for an internet toast.
May you all hear me exclaim as I sign off tonight,
Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good-write!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Tonight, one year ago, on December 21, 2008, my world changed dramatically. I started writing my first novel. I didn't want to write a novel. I didn't know how to write a novel. It just sort of happened.

Today I went to the grocery store to pick up ingredients to bake chocolate chip cookies. Why? Because that's what I was doing this time last year when the story of The Kindrily crashed into my life at breakneck speed. I was baking cookies and listening to an old Ella Fitzgerald song. One line from Someone to Watch Over Me, created an image in my head of a green-eyed girl who had an amazing, tragic, and magical story to tell. So I started telling it. With no idea what I was doing, or how to write a chapter, much less a whole novel. I got so consumed by it that I burnt the cookies. I've decided to make the event an annual tradition, except tonight I may set a timer.

A year later and my story has been beta read by a beloved few, edited over and over, hacked and slashed, had action and conflict added to it. My MS has been worked and reworked and improving every step of the way.

So have I. Becoming a great writer is a long process. I'm not even close to being great yet, but my goodness, I have come a long way in 365 days.

I finished a novel. I attended the Pikes Peak Writers conference. I met talented writers, agents, and editors. I've developed near and dear friendships with my betas--and at times I wonder what I ever did without those gals in my life. I have read more books than usual and appreciated them in a new way. I have fallen in love with my characters; cried for them, laughed at them, cheered them on, killed them off, and gave them life again.

The most amazing part of all of this is even though I know how much work was required to "finish" a novel, and how slim the odds are of my story getting published, I am writing my second one. The reward isn't in getting the book deal (though that would be fantastic) the reward is creating. Falling in love--and hate--and being a part of a new world of people, places, and things. I'm doing it all over again, and I didn't even need cookies to inspire this new tale.

One year and so much has happened. Many writers are way ahead of me. They've been at this for years. They have written volumes upon volumes. They are better, stronger, more knowledgeable. Some are agented, published, or been on book tours. Good for them. Good for all of us. It doesn't matter where we are on our path, it's nice to know the others who are walking it with us. Even those who are miles ahead, or a few steps behind.

Do you have a writing anniversary? How long have you been at it? I guess I should count my creative writing school days as writing time, but the world of novels is so much more fun. Wherever you are on your journey, I hope you enjoy it every step of the way. And if you're in my neighborhood tonight and want to stop by for milk and warm cookies, my door is always open.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living."
— Ana├»s Nin
As promised, here is a photo that foretold I would someday write a story about mermaids. Me at age two...
Seawees were so cool. So was my parents striped couch and my brother's cute matching short and tank set. That's my sweet grandmother looking on in the background. I also loved Care Bears, My Little Pony, Glow Worms, and Teddy Ruxpin. Hmm, I wonder if that gives any indication of what novels may manifest in my future.

Anyway, back to mermaids.

Me at age 21 (maybe 22. I can't remember) with the most popular mermaid of them all...

I was trying to pose like her, but I couldn't get my hair to whoosh up in the air like hers. That's my beautiful and supportive mother on the other side of Ariel. You too can pose with this statue if you cruise on the Disney Wonder.

I kept my promise, those are my pics. No lengthy post today, nothing exciting to update about, I'm just having fun splashing around with old photos and sharing with all you great blogging friends.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Word About Awards

Time to say thank you to a few gals for blog awards I recently received.

The Honest Scrap Award was presented to me three times within one week. See, it pays to be honest.

Thank you to Karen Denise at I'm Always Write. #1 she has one of the greatest names in the world. #2 She lives in the town I grew up in. Well, okay the zipcodes are one digit off because our towns sit side by side, but still. I know the roads she travels because I grew up traveling them myself. Now, we share a journey down the roads of writing and I love reading her blog.

AND to Victoria S. the aspiring author of AMBER. Victoria always makes me a little mad because she posts AMAZING photos that I wish I would have found first. Then I forgive her because she posts fun, interesting stuff. We would probably love everything each other writes because we seem to have the same tastes and mind set. Oh, and she has great music on her player. I leave her page up while I'm blogging just so I can hear all her good song choices.

AND last but not least, to Tricia O'Brien at Talespinning. Tricia and I are both writing about mermaids. She was a great cheerleader for me during NaNo, and her blog always has such great photography and thought provoking posts. I figure in a couple years Tricia and I will be on a book signing tour together when the Mermaid craze hits with fury. :)

The wonderful gals I'm awarding the Honest Scrap Award to are:

Ellie Kings at Matters of the Heart
and
Joanne Fritz at My Brain on Books


The other award I received was The Superior Scribbler award from Frankie Diane Mallis at Frankie Writes.
Frankie's blog never fails to make me smile. She has a potpourri of writing advice, funny videos, talented artist friends who she loves and shows support for, AND she made a deal with the universe. I get daily notes from the universe, so I think it's cool that people are making deals with my note writer. :)

(For those of you who are wondering about my sanity because of that daily notes comments, go check out TUT.com and sign up to receive your own notes. They are very inspiring.)

I'd like to award The Superior Scribbler award to:

Bethany Mattingly at ASPIRATIONS of a writer and agriculture lover.
and
Aubrie Dionne at Author, Flutist, Teacher.

Any person I have created a link for is worth checking out because they all some great insight or opinions to offer. Go check them out!

Friday, December 4, 2009

CHEERS TO FAILING!

I did not meet the 50k NaNo goal. The beauty in that statement is that I do not care, nor do I feel like a failure. Why? Because I have about 35k words of a great story. I broke the rules. I edited chapters over and over again. I did spell check, I did research, I did delete the crap I read and didn't like any more.

To me, writing is not about how fast I can write or how quickly I can reach a word count goal. One day if I have an agent and publisher that has me on a deadline, THEN I will reevaluate my feelings about rushing my work.

This past week I've been at Disney World with my parents. While some NaNo peeps were stressing on November 30th and trying to reach 50k, I was enjoying the magic of Disney and letting it inspire some fantastic ideas for my story. I even saw the cutest painting in the Wyland Gallery of...guess what?...yup, MERMAIDS! Yay! The artist is Jim Warren and I'm convinced everyone in the scene is having a tea party in my honor and toasting to the fact that my new story is coming along swimmingly, and that one day in the near future (hopefully), the world will have another fabulous merfolk story.

How did the rest of you do? How's your current WIP? What's magical in your life these days?

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