Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today I'm flying to Columbus, Ohio for the World Fantasy Convention where I plan to frolic and rouse many a ruckus with Sara McClung, Carolina Valdez Miller, and Simon C. Larter.

Try not to be too jealous.

Updates and pics coming soon.

That is all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I read this quote the other day and wanted to share it...
(Feel free to swap the word wife for husband, kids, parents, boyfriend, friends, or what have you.)

"What no wife of a writer understands is that a writer is working when he's staring out the window." ~Burton Rascoe
This quote couldn't be more true for me, especially when I'm riding in a car. My mind drifts to places non-writers wouldn't understand. I try to think of unique ways to describe the color of the sky, the swaying palm trees, or any of the other landscape my eyes sweep across. I pass houses, businesses, or people and create a skeleton plot and character summary based on any combination of random factors.

My mind never shuts up. It's always been like that. That's probably why writing makes me happy. My crazy mishmash of never-ending thoughts have somewhere to go. I don't feel so crazy if I can pluck some thoughts from the garden of my brain and turn them into an actual story.

A blank page (or Word doc) is my open window. Through that window anything is possible--and my imagination produces some spectacular views.

What about you? Are you a window gazer? Does your tale-weaving mind work overtime?

PS: Is anyone going to the World Fantasy Convention
in Ohio at the end of the month?
I'll be there with Sara McClung and Carolina Valdez Miller. And I recently found out the infamous Simon C. Larter will be there too. Needless to say, we're all getting a tad excited.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


This is not for you.

This is not for family, or friends, or writers.
These words are not advice, or wisdom, or to be critiqued in any way.
This is not proper punctuation, or grammar, or sentence structure.
This is expression, emotion, and raw reverie.

This is for an eighteen-year-old man,
driving too fast from a story he knows every side of.
Wishing tonight she’d finally choose love instead of lies.
With eyes like stars and a heart bigger than the moon,
who had no idea his midnight ride would be his last.

This is for a seventeen-year-old girl,
sitting beside a wrecked car on a dark winding road,
whispering I love you and promising it will all be okay.
With no idea she is holding a last chance in her arms,
who fourteen years later, is still waiting to say I’m sorry.

This is for a night that loops repeatedly through my mind.
With his mother’s tears forever falling upon the hospital floor,
while his big brother’s scream eternally echoes down a hallway.
Where foureen years later, a part of my soul still stands in that ER,
begging him not to go.

This is because it is October 14th.
Every year on this day, I yearn to bake a birthday cake, find the perfect gift,
and attach it to 888 balloons,
so it will float up to Heaven,
and show him that I haven’t forgotten.
That I will never forget.

This is for him. And for me. And for them.

This is for anyone who knows this feeling.
Who is haunted by a number, a date, a song,
or a place and time you can’t reach.
Who incorrectly assumed there would always be tomorrow.
For those who talk to the stars, and pray an angel is listening.

This is for everyone who has ever loved, or lost.
Who has experienced the beauty of this world, or the ugliness.
Who understands the meaning of tragedy,
but hopes to be spared from it--again.
For those who brave the path of healing,
even when it seems an impossible journey.

This is for anyone living their story.
To anyone who believes in happily ever after, or fears a nevermore.

We are countless characters, with infinite backstories,
creating never-ending plots in this book called life.
We are the sum of our parts, our people, and our experiences.
Moments hidden away in almost forgotten pages,
fluttering like angel wings as the chapters of our life rapidly flip by.

This is not for you, or for him, or for me.
This is for each and every soul who has ever felt sorry, guilty, lost, afraid, abandoned, insecure, unsure, self-doubting, self-loathing, self-sacrificing, misguided, misunderstood, unknown, unseen, unheard, unkind, loved, hated, hurt, confused, or alone.

We are all in this together.
We all have a him, her, them, me, or us.
We all live with a mistake, a regret, a burden, a broken promise, or a shattered heart.
We are all living this life one page at a time,
and we all have a story to share.
This is for the stars, the moon, and the angels.

This is for all of us.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Last April while visiting my parents, my mother stumbled upon something in the paper that I'll never forget. Coincidentally, she told me about it while I was working on one of my manuscripts. You know, trying my damnedest to be a great writer. Good enough to be published. Hoping to one day make a career in storytelling.

The perfect time to read me this:

I don't remember what I said at this point--you'd have to ask my mother--but it probably wasn't very nice.

Abby's reply:

Abby is much kinder and more tactful than me. I grumbled something to my mom about how dearest NOT should thank her lucky stars, and how she was an ungrateful little--well, you get the point.

Abby is already a successful writer, so she offered helpful and professional advice. She didn't snap back with an emotional (or jealous) reply like I might have.

In some ways I can see this new author's point. Unauthentic events wouldn't be much fun. But the rest of it comes with the territory. Did this woman not know about the PR aspects before becoming a published author? A full inbox of questions about my book and a deluge of invitations is something I would expect and embrace. (Yes, even the bad emails and questions. I am aware that not everyone will love my writing, or even like it, or care that it exists.)

I'm not saying this woman's feelings aren't valid, but I do know about 500 people (see the Supporters bar on the right sidebar) who would love to have this lady's problem.

My Reply:
Dear NOT, Thoroughly research your destination before you climb aboard the cruise ship. And don't publicly bitch when the water gets rough, or the scenery isn't as pretty as the brochure made it out to be. Those of us still stuck on land will want to throw things at you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


***awesome cupcake pics used to be in this post but due to the recent lawsuits for using photos on blogs I took them down.***

I'm going to let you in on a secret that will change your life.

Last year, me and Natalie Bahm were querying at the same time. (Side note: Nat landed a fabulous agent, Sara Megibow of the Nelson Agency. As for me, umm, well, let's get back to the point of this post.)
We, and the rest of our writing group (Megan Rebekah and Marie Devers) decided rejection was an ugly word. It was no fun to email updates saying, "Agent SoAndSo rejected me."
There's something about those words that make you feel like you've just been slapped in the face, or punched in the gut. We didn't like it. So we did something about it.

We decided the new word for rejection was cupcake.
Instantly, our lives sounded sweeter. We sent emails that said things like...
Agent ShortBread cupacked me.
I got three cupcakes today.

Agent PermaFrosting cupcaked me, but she invited me to send her any of my future recipes.
It took months to bake, but I finally got a cupcake from You CAN'T Have Your Cake Or Eat It Too Lit Agency.

See, it doesn't sound so bad when you add some sugar, does it?

I even shared the Cupcake Secret with a few close writer friends. Sara McClung , Carolina Valdez-Miller , and Shannon Messenger have been in the elite Cupcake Clan for quite some time now. They speak my language. They know if I tell them I got a cupcake, it means I'll be needing some of this...Yes, they have a Cupcake brand of wine to help cupcake receivers cope. Coincidence? I think not. I even have an appropriately sized glass that I use if I get a cupcake on a full MS.Sara sends me cupcake themed gifts (I'm not sure if that's a good omen or not, but they sure are cute!)See, I told you this post involved my underwear. Thanks for the cute nickers, Sara!

It truly does sound good in theory--this whole cupcakes craziness. BUT(T), even with the cute underwear, the delicious wine, the sugary sweet wording, and all the other upsides of the cupcake way of life, the literary world cupcakes don't taste very good. Most days they are still hard to stomach. The worst part is, I've started looking at cupcakes much differently than I used to.

Some days I think this is the only good use for them.
They never look this cute or interesting in my email box.
On days when I'm really emotional, cupcakes seem mean and destructive. Kinda like this one.
I see stuff like this,
and think, umm, that's an oxymoron if I've ever heard one.

Sometimes I raise my fists in the air and shout, NO MORE CUPCAKES!

(At least until I recover from my sugar crash).

So, now you know. We are sharing our secret with you because we think this new terminology would make the writing world a happier place. We give you permission to remove the words rejection, and rejected from your writer vocabulary and replace it with cupcake and cupcaked (if you so choose).

Some days it will help the road to being published seem a little sweeter, but there will be days when it feels like you've been smacked in the face with a stale, 5 tier, schnozberry filled cupcake. The icing will burn your eyes and clog up your nose so that you can't breathe in or out, and you'll think, "This is it. This is how it ends. I've been cupcaked to death."

Fear not. Cupcakes will not be the death of you.

Take a moment to wear each one proudly. You worked hard for them! You've earned every cupcake! However bitter or bland it may be, try to enjoy whatever yummy part you can salvage, then ask a writer friend to hand you a few napkins. After you wipe away all that unwanted icing, put on your Brave Girl (or Guy) cupcake panties, celebrate your step in the right direction with a bottle of Cupcake wine, and keep persevering.

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