Tuesday, May 31, 2011

WOW, you have very sexy feet!!!

(Hehe!) Now before anyone gets any wacky-tacky or disgusting ideas about this title...let me just say that there are no feet or foot-fetish paraphernalia jokes or innuendos flitting through this particular blog (though that statement may or may not-not hold true for future blogging purposes).  So yes, my title was purely a gimmick to lure you in...and, no, I'm not opposed to trickery to get you to read my blogs. :-D  

I know...ain't I a stinka! 

In any case, my Memorial Day weekend was a complete success! YAY! Love it when a plan doesn’t fall to complete chicken turds.  My baby brother’s graduation party was held this past weekend, and yes I was definitely feeling the decade gap that divides us while surrounded by all the youthful, pimply faced youngsters that were in attendance…but beyond my narcissistic insecurities, it was an amazing event with an amazing turnout.  My mom counted at one-point 140+ people in attendance.  All scattered about like ants in their driveway, lawn and other nook and cranny areas of the 2-acre property, all eating and nibbling on the most amazing food (BBQ, Tex-Mex, cobblers, cakes and pies).  Which ironically enough I ate none of due to some freakish appetite blurb that left me not wanting any of the delicious bounty set out before me.  So I manned the tables most of the night keeping the rapacious flies out of the potato salad and beans with my handy paper plate and dual-arm action ninja moves (it was seriously a workout).

But the DJ was amazing (making up for the bug issues I was experiencing).  And what’s a house party without flies and a DJ! 

So a HUGE thanks to everyone who came out!  You made the party a real success and one to be talked about for years to come.

On the writing front, I’ll admit I really didn’t accomplish much of anything over the weekend.  I did run out to pick up a copy of Josephine Angelini’s debut YA novel STARCROSSED, which I read in its entirety during one thoroughly enjoyable sitting and am actually re-reading it again. (Great book! Go buy it! Now.)  Oh you know…anything to keep me from working on my own book. Haha…ugh.  But today I fully intend to jump back on the edit machine and start plowing through this book so I can finally feel like I might actually get somewhere in this crazy cycle of writing.

But any who…

I’m officially now back on the old grind of my life, with work, home and the NBA Finale Series!!!  Yes, the FINALS are here!!! And I’m so happy to have survived the weekend with everything reasonable in tact, other than a loss of blood after it feels like I single handedly supplied the mosquito population in my parent’s neighborhood with food for the winter, I am feeling very refreshed (if not a little anemic) but ready to hit hard and be productive.

I will conquer this book if it kills me!!!  Ok, maybe killing won’t be necessary but I’m feeling ready to move on to the next stage of things even if I know I’m not in reality ready for said “next stage”.  But thinking of the moment, visualizing it, holding it in my mental embrace…it motivates me to keep plugging a way.  Reminding myself that there will be an end to this out there and (hopefully) a reward for work well done.  I hope. Maybe. We’ll see.

And with that being said, I will bring this mini-session to an end and hope everyone has a great start to their short workweek and keep it clean folks.

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

I wanted to offer a special thanks to all those who have served and continue to serve, but I especially wanted to send my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of those who have given their lives for this country.

And as for the past few days, I am pleased to say that it has been an incredible and fun filled weekend of family, friends, good food and celebrations! And now that the hubby and I are finally home and settled we are spending a nice quiet day together, with no plans made whatsoever…aka. the perfect relaxing holiday weekend!  *Sigh*

So in sticking with my relax themed weekend, I'm keeping this post brief so I can get back to my mini-holiday. :-)  But I’ll definitely be posting more in the future on the progress of edits and the numerous other exciting news that may spring up as I continue on my little journey. 

And given this weather (currently a windy 90 degrees), and the Texas heat is beyond hot, it defnitely feels like we’re plowing full-speed ahead into another stifling summer season.  So please pardon me while I go dig out the old bathing suit and dust it off  in preparation of "Operation Poolside". Have a pleasant and safe Memorial Day everyone! And happy reading!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where the heck did May GO?!

May? Hm. I'm not even sure how it happened or even...wait, did it happen?  At this point it all seems like a big fat blur, consisting of lights, colors and random bodies parts.  But alas, May was doomed to this fate from the beginning, excluding that fluke rapture hoopla, it was destined to end.

It was actually a great month of new things.  Along with some really unexpected surreal moments thrown in for kicks.  One of those moments being that I started a blog, (HELLO!) and have been happily blogging for 28 days now. YAY!!! (Ok, technically April inched in there a bit at the beginning, but you get the point.) I've gotten such wonderful and encouraging feedback, and it's been so fantastic having another creative outlet to channel my energy through.  I've also acquired a new obsession (which isn't exactly a positive), but I'm completely addicted to it nonetheless...twitter.  Before, I was always the person who made fun of people who we're so consumed by people posting short pithy blurbs of their lives that couldn't possibly be that interesting or worth my time.  But it's #ADDICTING. I can't help it. #ILoveIt.

I've also discovered some really fantastic writers and blogs that has definitely elevated my BS (Blog Stalking) to a completely new level.  You can check out some of the blogs and sites I follow under My Blogs & Sites List...great stuff.  The editing process, usually my least favorite part of all this, has evolved to become one that I am actually beginning to take pleasure from instead of abject pain.  Choosing now to view it as the necessity it is for my writing (because I sooooo need it) and as a method to improving not just my craft but the chance to really present my work in the most engaging light I possibly can.

On top of the writing, this has also been the month that tornado season has fully kicked into top gear.  To say that it's been beyond just destructive, is an under statement, its been completely devastating with the number of fatalities and entire towns completely being decimated in the path of these powerful forces of nature.  Just a couple days ago this is what greeted me just outside the door of our apartment. 

Lots of call-to-reality moments have emerged over these past few weeks.  My strengths and weaknesses all tested in some form or fashion.  And it made me realize that I'm actually a lot stronger than I previously gave myself credit for.  So on that note, I'll leave you with a few recaps of my favorite moments in May and a blog theme song.




Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Something Borrowed


“Starcrossed” by Josephine Angelini (Coming Soon! May 31st)

New writers I've recently discovered and have definitely taken a serious liking to...
Tawna Fenske, her romantic-comedy novel, "Making Waves" hitting bookstores August 2nd!

Josephine "Josie" Angelini

Blog theme song: John Mayer's "Bigger Than My Body"

 Happy reading!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Author shout-out to JOSEPHINE ANGELINI!!!

Hey Readers!!!

I have some exciting news that I just had to share with you about a fellow writer who is on the cusp of debuting her first YA novel STARCROSSED on May 31st!!! YAY!!! It's always an exciting thing when you get to witness someone living out and fulfilling their dreams.  So, I wanted to send out a HUGE congratulations to Josephine on such a monumental feat, and also to say how very touching and inspiring her publishing story was to me.  

For more on Josephine's story check out this article at mediabistro.com.

And if you haven't already, then you should plan to pick up a copy of her new debut novel, STARCROSSED, the first of her teen trilogy in bookstores on May 31st!

And pop over to her blog and read about the BIG news and her fun GIVEAWAY!!! 


Monday, May 23, 2011

Just a case of the Mondays

All I can say about this day is that I am so glad it's nearly over. For those of you who don't know, it's officially tornado season and lucky me I live on the tip of what we southerners like to call tornado alley.  To say that its been a pretty eventful few weeks is definitely an understatement. But we have been lucky enough to have avoided some of the more severe weather that's hitting some of our neighboring states further north.  My prayers go out to all the victims and survivors of these devastating storms.

But to say that this wasn't the best day of my life is being incredibly generous and completely vague (yes, I know).  But I honestly don't want to go to much into it, lets just say that I now have a broken stapler and about 20 boxes of useless staples at work. Yup.

But for better news...I had a FABULOUS weekend!

The hubby and I went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides movie and I definitely felt my $4 matinee fee was very well spent.  And if I haven't mentioned it before, I am a huge sports fan so I've been very pleased by the results of the NBA playoffs this season and am super excited the HEAT have held out this long. Now I realize some or many of you may not be Heat fans and I've actually been mocked and taunted quite a bit for rooting for them. But I'm a D-Wade fan and that's just the way it is, and that's all I have to say about that.

We also had an enjoyable Saturday afternoon helping some friends of ours paint their college mascots on their Cornhole boards. It was the girls vs. the boys though I will admit we had to sort of get a bit of assistance from the enemy camp since neither my partner or I were feeling exactly artistically inclined that day. So we called on the assistance of my uber artistic husband to do our sketches (and he was a great sport about it after much gloating, taunting and heckling on their part) and maybe he helped with some of the painting as well. OK! So it wasn't much of a contest but we had an absolute blast painting and just hanging out with good friends with good food. Definitely some good times. :-) 

So you be the judge, which board do you like best? 
Team Melissa/Tasha

Team Will/Nathan

And to finish off the weekend, I attended a Jewelry Party and was very proud at how well behaved and disciplined I was, remembering that we live on a strict budget and therefore I can't buy everything that twinkles and winks at me.  But there were some very fashionable bobbles and accessories that I might have to indulge myself in sometime in the near future. After all a little frosting doesn't hurt anyone!

But any who! I think I'll try and finish this day on a high note and get some editing done. So until next time, stay classy people!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh. My. BLOG!!!

To offer a more contextually accurate premise by which to base this conversation on, I present Exhibit A. And will preface the start of this entry with…


Now, with that being said, I think I can actually remove myself from the situation, and hopefully laugh about this later, and wrap my brain around the fact that it’s ONLY Wednesday (and fight the urge to burst into tears because I’m barely half-out of this week).  And instead of dwelling on the recent past I have decided to jump right into my day and muster the chutzpah to survive this primed for disaster work shift. 

I’m generally a roll with the punches sort of gal and must admit that my heart is still pumping after my splendid execution of Operation Get-The-Heck-To-Work-On-Time this morning (it was pretty spectacular), which included some pretty stealth maneuvering on my part.  A two-stroke tooth (yes, tooth) brushing session, a drive-by minimal shlick-on armpit moment, a quick stop for spritzing (hopefully mask anything not briefly schlicked, stroked or brushed) before finally executing a impressive flying ninja move out the front door a mere seven minutes later.  That’s right people, seven minutes (that has to be a record somewhere). 

But honestly, I’m just glad I was in the frame of mind to fully clothe myself before peeling out the parking lot.  So, HURRAH!!! There will be no free breezing commando action going on under these garments today.

(WARNING: Please do not get too close or breath too deeply near said person. You might just regret it.)

Now for those who are actually concerned that my spritz-masking-undercarriage might have actually been canned for being late to work, bless your hearts, don’t worry…I did make it on time this morning, and even had a bit of spare time for the much needed mini-cry session I had at my desk while sending up a few HALLELUJAH’S & PRAISE HIM’s at the fact that I didn’t get pulled over for doing 80 down a heavily under construction highway this morning. Ti-he-he-he! 

ANY WHO! I hope everyone’s Wednesday has started off as exhilarating and heart thumping as my own, and who knows, this day may actually turn out to show some real promise later.  After all, its only 8:40 AM and I’d like to think that I’m pretty somewhat creative at times, and reasonably young to pull off almost anything (though this clock is definitely starting to toll like the bells of Notre Dame).  But nonetheless, I still have the whole day to really get this firework show going, and I am pretty positive I can find some shenanigans to get into before 5 PM.  You know, and really put some forethought into making this a day that’s truly worth purging from the memory of my wildly successful future self.

So wish me luck everyone!!! & HAPPY HUMP WEDNESDAY!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Friday the 13th!

I have to say that this has been an interesting week…one of highs, lows and random bursts of emotional crying in between, but other than that, piece of cake! :-)

I have been painstakingly combing through my manuscript, at a turtle pace, and am pleased to say that I have actually made some progress in my quest. HURRAH! All is not lost.  So things are creeping along as they should be, and I'm really staring to get ramped up about my pending deadline.  I think I will actually make it!

But I'm feeling so-so on the whole plot adjustments, but mostly I'm working to get this as tight and flowing as seamlessly as I possibly can.  But to treat myself after a week gone so chaotically well, I'm going out on the town with the husband to stuff my face with some good food, drinks and hopefully enjoy some great entertainment.  I hope everyone gets the chance to do the same.  Breaks are such a lovely and necessary part of this process...and life! 

Can we say, SIESTA! Haha!

But on the whole, it was a productive, if not thoroughly chaotic week.  I will admit that this has been the one of the most intricate story plots I’ve ever attempted, and out of all the stories and ideas that I’ve worked with, the hardest to get through.  Not because I believe the story sucks (I wouldn’t be writing it if I thought it did) but because I’m really pushing my boundaries as a writer for the first time with this one and my limits with my commitment to complete this entire series.  But I feel confident that I’ll be satisfied with the end product, published or not, once its all said and done.

But I will survive. I’ll keep fighting that good fight.  And then maybe someday (hopefully before I’m dead) I’ll finally achieve that ultimate shiny dream of getting published.  And touching that scalding hot page straight of the printing machine (sizzling burning flesh)…*sigh*.  That is, if I can continue to talk myself out of giving up this crazy scheme of being a writer each and everyday I open that file.

But yes, it looks to be a nice relaxing plan free weekend ahead for me.  So until next time…stay thirsty my friends & I love cupcakes!!!

And this is my new slogan!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Staying Positive Is Key

I must confess that sometimes (or more times than I care to admit to at the moment) I find myself getting caught up in the utter disparity of the writing business, especially recently when I found myself perusing the NYT Bestsellers list and feeling completely inadequate.  And as this feeling of inadequacy grew I began to think of all the many great (and I mean truly great) writers that have written and published their literary masterpieces for the world to enjoy, but also about all the literary masterpieces that will never be available to the public or published, and will remain stored and saved in the desks, laptops and USB drives of their creator forever. 

On days like this when I find myself on Downer Island, population one, ME, I can’t help but think how completely off my rocker I must be to think I can join ranks of the published, let alone achieve something as grand as becoming a published NYT Bestseller author.

At times its almost as if I have to literally open up a vein and pour the very life out of me just to get the words out and onto the page.  While being very aware that there is still the excruciating process of editing still left to be done.  But mostly, its the frustration of knowing you have something you want to share with the world so badly but are unable to find the words to do it well enough.  When I begin to feel the lows creeping up on me I often turn to things that are sure-fire inspiration plugs for me.  Whether its calling up my mom to get some of that southern “mama wisdom” or searching the internet for inspirational quotes, or even getting tips of how other writers manage to blast through these stages of writers block or moments of doubt and creative inhibition. 

But no matter what plan I have, I know that staying positive and keeping positive energy around me is key to me accomplishing the goals I have set for myself (and surviving the wild jungle of publishing). 

So when you feel yourself getting down try to have a place set in your mind where you can go (mentally, spiritually or physically) that will get you back on track and moving again. 

Something I really enjoy and it helps to refocus me when I’m not in a particularly chipper or creative mood is to find and collect quotes and inspirational passages that I can write down and post some place I can always see when I need to be reminded that even the greats had their moments too.  Things that make me laugh are a really HUGE booster in getting me refreshed.  And watching inspirational films is something I really enjoy.  The stories of real people who have struggled but still manage to come out on top in the end, which sounds kind of hokey, but this is what helps to get my juices pumping and flowing again. 

And on that note and in the spirit of sharing and inspiring, I thought I’d share one of my favorite pick-me up scenes from the movie The Pursuit of Happyness.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

I want to send a very special Happy Mother's Day wish to all the mothers out there.  You are truly an extraordinary group of women and there is absolute nothing else like you in all creation.  Whether you're a stay-at-home mom, a full time working mom, an adoptive mom, or even a soon-to-be mommy, this is your special day!

To my mama, I want to say...

You are not only my mother, but also my best friend.  Always ready with a word of encouragement or just the right blend of assurance and common sense, you always manage to set me at ease and get me back on track.  Looking back, even to the more tense moments between us in my teenage years I can't remember there ever being a moment when I doubted your love and devotion to me.  You were and remain a wonderful example of what it means to not only be a mother but also a woman in a world that often lacks a definitive or positive example for either of these roles.  I realize I was incredibly lucky to have you and know that you are one of the big reasons I am who I am today and that the phrase "She get it from her mama..." is a statement I now gladly embrace.

You have always nurtured my interest and passion for the less conventional and my almost obsessive desire for books, reading and storytelling.  You always encouraged my odd sense of creativity even when I knew you didn't quite understand it yourself, yet never allowed that to interfere with what you saw was a true passion and dream of mine.  You always reminded me that I could do and be anything I wanted to be...I just had to fight and work for it, and never give up.  So I am here today, saying I am still fighting for that dream and owe a great deal of the success that I have gained or hope to accomplish to you and to "diddy" also.

I hope when the time comes that I can prove to be as devoted and as loving a mother as you have always been for me.  I love you mama!

Your Baby Girl!

Friday, May 6, 2011

ONE WEEK! And I'm still here!

It's officially been a week since I posted my first blog and it has not only been an AWESOME week, but I've been so incredibly touched by all the positive and encouraging feedback I've received from so many people.  It really has meant a lot to me.  Seriously, my husband is already sick of how disgustingly happy and excited I am about all this, especially with all the squealing occurring throughout our apartment during random and inopportune moments. (And no, we don't own a pig.)

On the writing front, I definitely feel like I'm in a really good rhythm and am willing it to last for as long as possible.

But yes...after some very little thought and absolutely no planning whatsoever I’ve decided to make a very public commitment to all my followers and friends (I know, this sounds pretty edgy of me...but wait for it), I’ve decided to set an official deadline date for when I will begin querying for agents (Hm...). 

Now for those who are unfamiliar with the publishing process, a query is basically a feeler letter you send to a literary agent that includes a brief summary about you, your book and the genre and market you’re writing for.  Now the thing about most agents is that they can represent and/or reject whoever and whatever they like, it’s really a subjective process.  And the key to all this will be for me to find an agent who is not only familiar with selling books similar to genre I write for, but also one who loves and believes in my work and success as a writer as much as I do.  So as you can probably guess, this can be a pretty intense and at times a very personal process that can be both exhilarating and thoroughly exhausting at the same time.

But I’m hoping that by setting this deadline it will 1) help me become more focused 2) add a bit of urgency to me in getting things done (for once) and 3) give me a bit of accountability for both 1 & 2. 

And with that being said I’m setting my query deadline for August 2011.  YAY!  It’s almost-semi official!  And what I want to accomplish over this time is to have picked up a few good crit partners and maybe have attended a writer’s conference if the opportunity presents itself.  But mostly, I just really need to get down and dirty with my editing to workout all the blurbs and kinks in my story until it finally sparkles and gleams like Edward Cullen in the Sahara Desert.

So wish my luck and/or pray for a really really big miracle!!! Either will do. Haha! :-)

And the winners are...

Thanks to everyone who participated in ramping up my Facebook page!  You guys rock!  I've listed below the first 30 people to "like" my new page. Congratulations to the winners! The following people will recieve a FREE signed copy of my first novel THE CREED once it hits print!

1. Heather Greene
2. Candy Bahr
3. Sophie Ramirez
4. Jennifer Norton
5. Allison Wofford
6. Maria Alter
7. Sarah Barnhart
8. Cindy Higby
9. Malena Long
10. Mary Ables
11. Carih Haefs
12. Nica Hartfield
13. Shawna Malone
14. LaQuavein Hawley
15. Jennifer Martin
16. Bridget Bishop
17. Krystal Raney
18. Lysa Brown
19. Janice Hernandez
20. Iris Clarke
21. Clare Shelton
22. Nathaniel Klym
23. Stacy Woodruff
24. Sherri Fiscus
25. Brian Hoffman
26. Ashley Casey-Deshay
27. Olga Escobedo
28. Sean McGough
29. Veneza Dimas-Pantohan
30. Erin McGinnis


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pirates of The Caribbean 4 Official Trailer

Life in MY Bubble

On the whole I’d say things are really starting to look up and progress at a steadier pace than I could ever have hoped for.  I’m actually putting dents in the editing process for THE CREED, and have actually began to get my thoughts and life organized enough where I can start thinking more intentionally on book #2. (Hurrah!) 

But for reasons beyond what I can figure I’ve been stuck in a sort of weird genre limbo mode.  I always get kind of anxious and restless around this time of year.  My husband in general thinks I’m going crazy because I walk around the apartment murmuring and making lots of incoherent speeches about nothing and everything all jumbled into the same sentence.  It’s quite funny.  But honestly, I go into brain overload around this time of year.  The Texas version of late spring just before it catapults us into summer in the next few hours. 

But honestly, this time of year gets me so wound up its beyond geeky…so for those who are interested here is a list of some of the books I hope to read and movies I’m looking forward to seeing this summer.

1.     Thor May 6th! Okay honestly, this one was more my husband's idea, but come on...he's just too gorgeous to pass up.

2.     “Something Borrowed” by Emily Giffin, In Theaters May 6th!!!
SOBO!!! It’s finally here. I actually read Emily Giffin’s book “Something Borrowed” possibly three or four years ago and have been anxiously awaiting a film adaptation to her book ever since.  And its so close I can almost taste it.  Something Borrowed comes out Friday, May 6th! Tomorrow! I’m going, and I suggest you check it out and pick up a copy of the book.

3.     Priest, May 13th…this just looks kind of epic and I honestly just dig that sort of thing.

4.     Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, In Theaters May 20th! (Enough said.)

5.     “Passions” by Lauren Kate, Coming June 14th!

6.     “Paranormalcy” by Kiersten White

7.     “Supernaturally” by Kiersten White, Coming July 26th!

And these are a few of my favorite things (in my best Julie Andrews sing-a-long voice)!!!  But anywho...if anyone has any other suggestions for a good read please let me know, I'm always looking for a good author to become obsessed with. Hehe!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

And THE CREED Makes Three

After a few weeks of being on the fritz with my writing I finally feel like I’m getting into some form of a routine that involves actually writing/editing.  But in all honesty, editing is my absolute least favorite part of the writing process, though I understand it is totally necessary especially in my case (with my butter-finger writing abilities).  What can I say?  My writing doesn’t sparkle and shine from the words “Chapter One”. 

I’m currently working on my 3rd full-length novel, which is book one of a supernatural thriller series that I’ve come to basically eat, sleep and breath to an almost pathetic extent.  The writing process for this particular story line has been particularly grueling for me being that before I started this TC, I wrote more in the comedy romance and women’s fiction genre.  The idea for TC actually came to me a little over two years ago, but like the worry-ninny I was, I was to afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone to try it out until one day something whammed across my metaphorical brain.  And when I finally worked up the nerve to run my half-brained idea by my husband and he actually thought I had a good idea.  But even still, being the perpetual scaredy cat that I am, I was still unsure of my writing ability and if I really had a story to tell in length.  So I sat on the idea for another year or so, occasionally jotting down any thoughts or details that came to mind that could ultimately convince me that this was a real story in the making...until one day it finally said, "I'm smart. I'm pretty. And gosh darn it, I AM A WRITER!"

And so THE CREED was sort of born out of that and another idea I’d had that was staged in the future and was more post apocalyptic.  But somehow, the character Ava popped into my head one day and then she just wouldn’t leave me alone.  So I became a bit more intentional in my brainstorming and in writing down any ideas or details that would pop into my head.  But it’s been quite a long journey that I finally feel is past the half way mark.

But there is still lots more work to be done and a great deal more time and research to be had at getting published as I’ve long wished to be.  So…we’ll see how this cookie crumbles!