Friday, May 30, 2008

It's official

Well, my little quiz has ended, and the votes have been counted (hanging chads included.)

I guess I am not the only writer in the world not to own a laptop, but pretty close. 1 out of 5 shared my predicament.
*sigh* I suppose I shouldn't complain. Our big, clunky Dell works fine. True, Microsoft Word has unremovable adware that makes it impossible to start it without a time consuming, complex series of steps. And true, our internet creeps at a snails pace. But, still, it all works.

Don't ask me why I think a laptop will be so amazing. I guess it's mainly because I imagine that I could get a little writing done upstairs while the kids played. They hate the basement. It's really not baby proofed, and there are no toys, no TV. Yet, if I go downstairs and leave them alone, they whine. So, ideally, I could be logging an hour of writing during the day in addition to my nightly two-three hours. Ideally, of course.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm an Aunt/Mom!

I know this is not writing related, but I am just so excited. Early this morning, my twin sister had her first baby. A boy named Karl. Isn't he a cutie pie?

I say that I am an Aunt/Mom, because, as twins, my sister and I have the same DNA. So, technically I am his genetic mother.

Seriously, though, I already love that little guy like I was his mom. I just wish I was there to see him. I could cry. Oh well, I'm flying out there this summer. So, all is well.

A happy day for me.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Musings on my family

I think one thing that every writer needs is a supportive family. I feel lucky enough to have one.

My husband, Ben, is great because I can always ALWAYS talk with him about my story. And I do, constantly. I'm glad he isn't sick of it yet. I really have come to rely on his opinion. He is absolutely not a sugar coater. If there is something that he doesn't think works, he'll tell me flat out. I do get defensive sometimes, but when he praises an idea, I know he really means it. It's actually very lucky to have such a person living under the same roof.

Then, there's my daughter. She knows all about my book. Sometimes hear her playing it out with her dolls. *heart melts* She also always wants to write her own story. She'll draw the pictures, and write the few words she knows, then she writes the rest of the letters of the alphabet that she knows. I finish it off by transcribing the tale on the back. They are adorable. I've kept every one.

Today, she was particularly excited about a story that she wrote (with the same main characters as mine.) She ran up to me to show me, and said, "Mom, it's just like your story. Only prettier, and nicer, and better."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A nice, healthy splash of cold water

Wow. Nathan's contest has been a real dose of reality for me. I guess I always intrinsically assumed that there were a lot of writers out there, but seeing it in real form was a bit of a shock. I read through many of the entries, and almost all of them were really good. Some were outstanding. I made me really think about the competition that I am facing.

And when I say competition, I mean to be published, not to win the dialogue contest. I've written that off long ago. In fact, I never actually thought I had a chance, I just wanted to give it a try for fun. Publication, on the other hand, will be a long, grueling march, but I plan to stick with it for the long haul.
It's hard not to get a little discouraged though, but I think that's okay sometimes. Better to know what you are facing, then to be blindsided in the actual moment.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nathan's Dialogue Contest

Last night, after spending the entire time I had alotted to revise my manuscript picking out a bit of dialogue, I thought I might as well follow suit and post it to my blog. I realized this is the first sample of my writing I've ever posted. *gulp*

Anyway, with not the slightest hopes of winning, here is my entry:

"We should go right now," Iloria said. "Maybe we can catch Garett at the crossroads." She stood. "Come on."

Filled with self-loathing, Tristan shook his head.
"I’m not going."

She frowned. "What?"

"We have to bring him back, Iloria. We have to."

"I know . . . so, we’ll go and—"


She stared at him, confused, and yet aware of the tone in his voice.
"What are you saying, Tristan?"

"We’ve fallen behind. We still have to get to Woodmere in three days."

"And Garett?"

Tristan couldn’t look at her as he spoke "You are going to get him."


"There is an outpost a mile from here. We’ll pay for an escort to—"

"That’s not what I meant."

Tristan sighed. "It’s the only way."

"No. It’s not. We could go together."

"That would only make things worse. He has to have a reason to come back. It has to be just you."

Iloria’s breath was tight. "What do you mean, reason?"

"You know."

"I don’t," she snapped. "Tell me what you meant."

Tristan pushed his fingers into his temples, trying to somehow shut out the pain that coiling was inside him.
"Don’t make me say it."

"Say it."

"You know why."

"Say it." Her eyes were fierce, but glistening with tears.

Tristan looked away.
"Iloria, the only reason he was willing to be a part of this in he first place was you. And . . . if he has you again, maybe he’ll come back."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Inquisition Meme

First off, let me state that I am an inquisition virgin. So, if I do anything wrong, I have an excuse.

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5-6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.
4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

Inquisition Meme

What were you doing ten years ago?
I, like Kiersten (who tagged me), was finishing up my freshmen year of High School in lovely Kahuku, Hawaii. And I too performed in the Spring Musical. Our extremely low budget Drama program put on West Side Story. It was my first and only cross dressing moment. I played a Jet. And I was madly in love with another Jet. He was an actual boy (I swear), but alas, a Senior. So, he toyed with my heart, graduated, and I never saw him again.

What are five things on your to-do list for today?
Since it's night, I'll list some things on my to do list for tommorow.
1. Paint the kitchen cupboards. We're selling our house. *weary sigh*
2. Buy the stuff for dinner on Saturday and Sunday.
3. Make a big mark in my revisions.
4. Play with husband and kids.
5. Nap?

What are some snacks you enjoy?
I have one true love: Dr. Pepper. Oh, my sweet, sweet, DP. I can resist ice cream, candy, chocolate, and baked goods without much effort. But, Dr. Pepper I must have every day. I usually restrict myself to only one can. And I always have that can when I write. I thought, deserved a picture. Ben took this candid shot as I was working on my manuscript. There is Dr. Pepper in the cup, and here you also see my other ritualistic writing snack: air popped popcorn. Those two go together like peas and carrots. Only they taste much better.

What would you do if you were a billionaire?
Aside from all of the obvious ones, the best part would be that I would buy a house right next to my twin sister. No more worries about living in the place where the "good opportunites" are. I would buy Diana and I each nice homes with a huge shared backyard.
Oh . . . and I'd buy a laptop. How I yearn for a laptop.

What are three of your bad habits?
1. Procrastinator. Big time.
2. Scatter brained/Daydreamer.
3. Poor housekeeper. (I am a good cook, though. I'm not a complete failure of a housewife.)

What are five places where you have lived?
1. Claremont, California. That's where I was born.
2. Laie, Hawaii. Lived there from 4th grade to 11th grade.
3. Orem, Utah. Moved there oh-so-cruelly for my Senior year. Then I went to college there.
4. Columbus, Ohio. Current locale.
5. Moterhome USA. My family spent 2 months every single summer traveling around in one.

What are five jobs you have had?
1. Sbarro's Pizza Girl.
2. Cinnabon Girl. I was promoted to Supervisor. I know, the real big leagues.
3. BYU Grounds Crew
4. Research Assistant.
5. Teacher's Assistant.

What were the last five books you read?
1. Game of Thrones by. G.R.R. Martin. (Excellent)
2. The Sun also Rises by. Ernest Hemingway. (Interesting . . . but good)
3. Ever by. Gail Carson Levine. (Pretty lame, actually)
4. Goose Girl by. Shannon Hale. (Good. I liked it)
5. Biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald. (Facinating

What’s playing on your iPod right now?
Don't have an iPpod *grumbles under breath* I listen to the internet radio. Film Scores station.

What five people do you want to tag?
Brady, Shell, Lisa, Mom. . . . I can't think of anyone else. Sorry.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tempted by the Fruit of Another

Yesterday, I got this flash image of the opening scene to a story. It really knocked me out. So vivid and so dramatic. I could see the main character so clearly.

All today, I've been thinking about the story, jotting down little notes and such. I have, what I feel, is the ground work for a pretty smashing story. And here's the kicker: it's a short story.

I have a rocky past with short stories. Nine times out of ten, people who read mine say "I think this would make a better novel." For a long time I just thought, I can't write short stories. And I hated that, because I'd love to have some publishing creds to my name before I submit my novel. But, up until now it was a big "oh well."

Well, I think I've got something pretty good here. Now the only question is, when do I start? Should I succumb to the temptation to write this story? I'm pretty fired up about it. We'll just have to see. It very well might be impossible to keep this one on a back burner. I might just HAVE to write it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quer-o-matic 2000

This weekend, I made my first attempt at writing out my query letter. Well, technically it wasn't my very first attempt. I have been scribbling--and I mean scribbling--down sentences in my notebook. I even wrote one draft there. But, until this weekend, I had yet to get on down on Word. Well, now I do, with some thanks to my husband, Ben. He and I have been talking about my query for a long time. And today, Ben wanted to take a crack at it. So, I let him write a pitch paragraph for my story. I even let him write it in my beloved Moleskine. I must say, he did a pretty awesome job. I definitely used some of his ideas.

It has been a very eye opening experience, overall. I have learned one very important thing about query letters. You just have to write it all out . . . a thousand times. The pages in my notebook look like chicken scratch. But, I learned that you have to write every wisp of thought that enters your mind. Phase a certain sentence as many ways as possible, until it sounds okay. Yes, it was quite messy, though very productive. I know feel like I have a pretty decent working query letter.

Sometimes I get quite stressed about the quagmire that is the query. So so so SO much rides on that one little sheet of paper. Especially for me, a writer with no publication credits. My query letter alone has to knock the agents' socks off. I wish there was a foolproof method, or a magical machine. Yeah, that would be better. The Quer-o-matic 2000. Just insert a sheet of paper, and a mind-blowing query letter flies out.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

. . . never mind

Upon second glance, a day later, I realized that the ocean template was too busy and made it a bit hard to read. So, I changed it back.
My blog is still in a transition stage.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The New Template

Pretty sweet, huh?

I went with an ocean theme, because the main character in my book, Tristan, has a very unique connection with the sea. It's a major theme of the story.

I'm also thinking of changing my url and title. Heads up to my numerous readers. ;)