Friday, July 29, 2011

New Schedule

I started my blog in May and I was unsure of where I wanted this to take me. My whole experience with the writing world was new and scary and I used this blog as a bit of comfort as I tackled this thing called writing.

It helped.

It was wonderful to have a place to come and work through my difficulties and frustrations and it has helped to encourage me to keep writing. When you have a goal to talk about how much you'd progressed once a week you better believe you're gonna make sure you have something new to report each week.

The blog was new and a little overwhelming, but now I'm ready to take on a little more. In order to do that, I am going to re-arrange things a bit as far as my posting schedule goes. These changes will start taking effect immediately, but slowly. I am in the middle of a large move and will be unable to access the internet for about a week, but once I'm in my new home I will be more consistent.

Without further adieu, here is the new schedule:

Muse Monday - The idea for Transformation came from combining a couple of dreams that I have. I keep a dream journal, which I refer to regularly to help spark my imagination. These posts will be dedicated to sharing dreams in the hope that they will spark an idea in one of my readers.

It's amazing how someone can hear a quote and interpret it differently, each taking something unique away. These are my dreams, but maybe you will be inspired to create a story off of something captured in my subconscious. I won't be sharing any ideas that I may have from them, just the dreams themselves, because I have to keep a few secrets for myself. ;-)

WIP Wednesday - Pretty self explanatory. I will continue to provide updates about Transformation along with the progress I am making with the other projects I will be starting in a few weeks!

Fresh Look Friday - I am a member of the book review team for which I love, but I have realized I've been missing reading my beautiful stack of Young Adult novels. So, to supplement my Young Adult novels in with the rest of my review material, I will be posting reviews about the books I read purely because I want to read them. These will not be books that I have received from the author for review, they are simply books I have purchased and am dying to read.

I realize I won't be able to post a review every Friday because I need to stay on top of the reviews that I am being asked to do, so my reviews will be about every other week with Cover Lust/Spotlights of my favorite books posts in between. The point of these posts is to introduce you to books so you can step out of your shell and read something new!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Giveaway of my book, Transformation!

My wonderful friend, Jenni, is hosting an interview with me and giveaway of my first book, Transformation. If you're interested in winning a signed copy, or even if you just want to get to know me a little better through the interview, go check out the giveaway!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Transformation Snippet

I decided it is about time that I posted a snippet from my book Transformation. Just a little something to give you a taste for the rest of the book. Here are a few paragraphs from one of my favorite scenes:

Emily's body shook with shock as she stared at the intricately woven web that lay on top of her hair like a delicate hat. As Emily watched, she saw large brown spiders weaving their way in and out of her hair. She felt the first touch of one of the spiders as it reached her scalp. Her grandmother’s last words rang in her ears, they bite.

As if on cue, she felt the first stab of pain as it sunk its pinchers into her flesh. Her screams became more panicked as she fumbled with the shower. She wanted to reach up and brush the arachnids out of her hair, but her need to wash it all away was stronger.

Finally, she managed to turn the water on and jump in, fully clothed. The shock of the cold water hitting her gave her mind something else to focus on as she began scrubbing at her scalp. Her eyes were closed so she wouldn’t have to watch the spiders fall to the bottom of the tub. Thankfully, they washed away fairly easily. Cleaning the web out, however, wasn’t as easy. It was tough, felt like yarn, and it wound itself around strands of her hair. Twenty minutes of scrubbing wasn't enough, but her scalp was sore from the many bites she had received and from pulling at her hair. Feeling confident that at least she had gotten all the spiders out, she took a necessary break, turning off the water and crashing to the floor in a ball. She burst into tears.

Friday, July 22, 2011

WriT Day - I've got a secret...

I've got a secret...and for a writer it's a rather embarrassing one. I have a rather limited vocabulary. For as long as I can remember, I've struggled with words.

My family has always poked fun at my sister and I because we have a nasty tendency to make up words, which are usually just a combination of two words or a slight mispronunciation of an actual word. It used to be mortifying, but it has grown to be a tender jest at our awkwardness and it's even a little endearing.

It has, however, created problems for me as I've tackled my first novel and I'm sure it will continue to be a problem as I work on further projects. There are so many brilliant thoughts and emotions that can be captured on paper, if only you have the right words. Without them, a potentially great piece of writing will appear lack luster and simple when it could be breathtaking.

I long to create something that will blow the readers' mind. The perfect paragraph that he/she just HAS to go back and re-read because one exposure to it just wasn't enough. I've had moments like that as I've read. I've found myself thinking, 'Now that's great writing.' What makes it so great? The magnificent use of words.

I read a lot. I love books. I love the written word. So why don't I have a larger vocabulary? I have no idea. What I do know is this: If I keep reading my mind will be exposed to a plethora of words that can be at my disposal as I strive to create a masterpiece. And if I'm honest with myself, I've already found it easier to enlist the help of unfamiliar words in just the past seven months.

What has made it easier? The thesaurus. It is my best friend when I write. Or rather, it's more for when I edit. If I were to take the time to look up great words to use while I was writing I'd never get a book done, but it is a great tool to use when I'm trying to polish up a manuscript.

It is my hope that in a few years I won't need to keep the thesaurus open in a separate window whenever I'm editing. These words I love will hopefully become a part of me. Until then, the thesaurus is my friend, as I hope it will be friends to every aspiring author out there.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

WIP - What's next?

This has been an incredible ride and it seems strange that it has all come to an end. Sort of.

The editing stage is done, my book is out (and it is now at Barnes and Noble here), and I am developing three new ideas.

I really should be focusing on 'promoting' Transformation. It's the one downfall to self-publishing, especially since I am generally a shy person and find it difficult to put myself out there. But if I don't do it, no one will. The main problem is I don't have a lot of time to focus on promotion right now. We are in the middle of a big move, so my time and attention are going towards organizing and planning.

I fully plan on promoting once we're settled in our new place, but for now I will just let it ride with the word of mouth. Though, I do have an interview/giveaway planned for next week on my friend Jenni's blog and I have a copy that is being reviewed on within the next two months. So, it's getting out there little by little, but I will be glad when I can do more.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I just now realized that it's Saturday evening and I never posted my WriT day post yesterday. Whoops. I have a good excuse though. My husband, who has been gone for seven months, got home yesterday. So, as you can surely understand, I've had my mind focused on other things.

This weekend I'm focusing on enjoying the bliss that is our reunion, but I promise that I will get back on schedule next week. In fact, I'm planning on rearranging some things a bit, but you'll have to tune in then to find out about the changes I'm making. Until then, have a GREAT weekend! I know I will!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Signs that what you're reading isn't very good...

I've been doing book reviews lately, so I spend a lot of time reading. I love it. It's a great escape from reality and a way to decompress when I'm stressed.

When I'm reading a good book, I look forward to the next time I can pick it up. I will rush through my daily obligations just to make sure I have time in my day to read. I have to be creative to find time to read because I have little children at home.

The best time, when the kids are sleeping. Nap time is a great part of my day. I've also found myself reading while standing at the stove waiting for a pot of water to boil, soup to simmer, or even waiting for the oven to heat up. That is a great indicator that I am loving what I'm reading at the moment. These are the books I look forward to, the ones I read in record time. I crave them.

Unfortunately, to every good thing there is a not so good thing. There are books out that aren't as great as some of their counterparts. I've been thinking about this a lot lately because it's been taking me longer and longer to get through some of the books I'm reviewing. I've noticed a pattern, and I thought I'd share it with you.

You know what you're reading isn't very good when:
  • It takes you a couple of weeks to read what normally only takes two to three days.
  • You start to skim paragraphs.
  • You find multiple grammar and spelling errors on one page.
  • You actually start hating the MC rather than rooting for him/her.
  • You feel your eyes roll in disbelief multiple times at the dialogue that you're reading.
  • You think, "You've made your point already," and you have to fight the urge to throw the book at your feet in frustration.
  • You basically want to do anything else before you read.
  • You find yourself thinking, "Just push through it so I can get to the next book."
  • You flip ahead a few pages just to see if something good will happen at all.
  • You stop reading to look up online reviews of the book to see if it's worth finishing.
  • You've read an entire page, but have no idea what you just read.
I'm sure everyone reading this could add to the list as well. Thankfully, I don't come across a book like this very often. I enjoy most of what I read, even if I don't love everything. And most books have at least one redeeming quality to them, I just hate having to push through to find it. It's the books that you walk away from wishing you had never read that you have to watch out for.

Now, there are definitely exceptions to this. For example, I read a book a few weeks ago that took me three times as long as it normally would, but it wasn't because I wasn't enjoying it. It was because the subject matter was so intense my heart could only handle small spurts of it at a time. The book was so well written that it painted this picture of heartbreak, that as a mother, I couldn't handle. In fact, when I finished the book I had to pull my two sleeping children into bed with me so I knew they were close and I could protect them.

I will always be a reader because I love it. I just hope that as I continue to venture into this wonderful world of writing that I will write books that people enjoy reading, not ones they feel they have to push through.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

WIP - Transformation is officially available!

It's official! I received my second proof copy of Transformation on Saturday and it was BEAUTIFUL! It was exactly how I had pictured it.

From there, the next step was approving the proof so it could go up for sale. As of Saturday it is available in paperback on CreateSpace and has kindle copies available. By the end of the week it should be available in paperback on as well!

To make it easy, if you're interested in the paperback you can get it here, or if you want it on kindle go here.

I have also created a new page on my blog for Transformation so the links to purchase it are available on that page.

You may also have noticed that I created a page for the book reviews that I do for the website It has been a wonderful experience to read a large variety of books that I may never have picked up otherwise. (So check them out, hint, hint.)

I am now officially on as well, so check out my author page here.

I'm feeling very narcissistic in this post, but I can't help it. This whole experience has been surreal and incredible. I am so excited to finish the project I started a few weeks ago and to start on a few other projects I have in mind. Writing is a drug and I am addicted!

Friday, July 8, 2011

WriT - A world of stories

You can become a writer by developing a story in numerous formats. There are short stories, novels, children's books, graphic novels, flash fiction, fiction, nonfiction, and even stories for blogs.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately because I recently discovered my husband thinks it would be interesting for me to attempt a graphic novel. I was a bit shocked at first, but I must admit the idea has become quite appealing to me.

Of course, I had to turn to the trusty internet to research what it would take to create one because once an idea is planted in my head I can't let it go until one, I realize it's an impossible task or two, I have figured out a way to accomplish it. I must admit in this instance, I was hoping to find a way to make it happen.

The graphic novel. The how to create a graphic novel page on is easy to understand and lists step by step instructions on how to create one. I was a bit surprised that the first step was learn a drawing style. I realize that graphic novels are drawn, but I had envisioned teaming up with an artist to create my graphic novel, though drawing one myself does create it's own kind of appeal and challenge.

Developing the story is pretty much the same for any story, so there's not much to add there, but the next step would be to create a rough draft using thumbnails. It sounds extremely tedious, but I do agree that it is the best way to plan out the story without having to go back and fix mistakes on the finished product. Sounds hard, but extremely rewarding. I think I will eventually give it a try, but it may not be anytime soon.

In my search about graphic novels, I came across some interesting 'how to' sites for other types of stories, which I just have to share.

Short stories. I have a goal to put together a book of short stories with my friend Jenni. It's a project that will probably be years in the making, but I'm excited to work on it and this information will help us get there.

Obviously, the first step would be to read short stories, which I've been trying to do when I have spare time. Then, you gather ideas for the story. We have a general theme, so hopefully those ideas will develop in the next few months. From there, you familiarize yourself with the format of a short story. These include rising and falling action, climax, and character development. For specifics, you'll need to check out the link. But ultimately, the idea is to write and never give up.

Children's books seem easy, but are much harder than they appear. You need to focus on keeping the story simple, yet entertaining and educational. It's important to keep the audience in mind as you write and be sure to have a child do a test run of it. If they have to stop and ask you what a word means, you need to revise.

Lastly, the stories I want to talk about are the ones we tell on blogs. I found this fascinating post about the 14 types of stories you can tell on your blog and I had to share them, just for fun. I think it's interesting that my blog falls into the first category, Personal Discovery Stories. I hope to be able to share more Success Stories, but I haven't quite earned those ones yet. Maybe someday I'll have earned the right to share some.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

WIP - Short and sweet

I received my Proof copy of Transformation last week which was so exciting! The first thing I saw when I opened the box was the spine and it was crazy to see my name there.

I was really happy with most of it, but unfortunately there were some things that needed to be tweaked. For instance, I miscalculated the size of the spine so the cover is off center, being pulled to the left. It's a little distracting.

The coloring for the cover was also off, which is strange since it's a black and white cover. My good friend Jenni was able to go in and adjust those issues.

I also discovered some embarrassing issues on the inside. The biggest one...different font for chapter 13. I have no idea how that happened, but it was obvious. The spacing was also different, the first 10 chapters seemed to be 1.3 and the last part of the book was all single spaced. Those kinds of things are easy to miss when it's in a file on a computer and you have to scroll from one page to the other, but when you're flipping through a book and seeing one section right after the other it's easy to catch.

It's stuff like that that makes a self-published book stand out, and not in a good way. I went through and made my corrections, along with carefully scanning it for any other issues. I couldn't find any, so I'm hoping I got them all. I'm pretty confident I did.

I ordered my second proof, which I'm hoping will be here by this weekend. My fingers are crossed that it will go smoothly and there won't be any more adjustments that need to be made before it can be ready to go up for sale.

One of my biggest pet peeves are errors in a published book. I find it distracting to have major grammatical or spelling errors, so I'm striving to not have that in my own. I'm sure there is something I missed, even the best novels have one or two errors, but my hope is nobody will notice. (And that those who do will be forgiving.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Show my friend some love and enter her GIVEAWAY!

My amazing friend Jenni just hit 100 Followers!! Go Jenni! In celebration, she is hosting an awesome giveaway! You can enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card OR $20 in books from the Book Depository so you International peeps can enter as well. PLUS, she's adding second/third place winners for every 10 follower increases she receives! So spread the love and win awesome stuff!

Enter her giveaway here.