Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Tribute To The Unwritten Novel

As writers, it’s often a safe assumption to make that yes, we’re a bit of an odd breed.  And more often than not we're the up-in-the-clouds person you see sitting on a park bench somewhere talking to themselves just before laughing out loud at some private joke we've just told ourselves. *Points to self* Yes, guilty as charged.  So when I admit that I find it very difficult to express to others (mostly non-writers) what it really means to me to write or to get lost in the pages of a gripping story, I mean it…I can’t explain it. So don’t ask.

But more importantly than my inability to effectively express basic thoughts and emotions, I think it’s very important that my unwritten novel(s) know and not fear for the future of their creation.  And to know that I look forward to their arrival and the process of developing and writing them into full completion before being presented to the world.  

So this, my unwritten novel(s), is to you…

Dear Unwritten Novel,

I know this may seem premature or somewhat odd.  Okay, really odd!  But I’m hoping, when you’re finally here and I am holding you in my hands, staring lovingly into the black font of your front title page, smelling your sweet-sweet new book smell…this will all make a little more sense.

But for now, you are still simply a flutter of thought, the hint of a whispered idea in my mind’s ear just waiting for me to start you.  So just know, that I know you know I know you’re there…buried deep, deep, real deep in the subconscious of my mind somewhere.  And that you’ll be there patiently waiting for the day when I will finally dig you out and begin to form and mold you into what you were truly meant to be…the greatest of GREAT stories. And meant to be shared with my lovely readers.  So fear not my unwritten novel(s), your conception will be very carefully planned, well thought out and thoroughly documented onto my snazzy 4G USB drive.  

And even though I haven’t met you yet, in my mind, you’re already as good as mine and as well as written.  And I intend to love and nurture your creation into being as carefully as I would any baby that I’d personally give birth to myself.  Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but VERY close.  So until the day I can feel your warm hardcover weight in my hands, and see your sharply printed pages focused in my vision straight off the postman's delivery truck, I’ll wait, and I'll dream of all the numerous possibilities that you could be.

Your Loving Author,
Blaire

P.S. – This one’s for you!

 Michael Buble "Haven't met you yet"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

AUTHOR ALERT: Cat Clarke

I just had to share the mini-adventure I had this morning.

Wiling away my morning I happened to stumble across a very interesting author. Her name, Cat Clarke. Okay, so first off, I love her name.  So clearly, the only smart thing for me to do was actually check out her site and learn a bit about this new mystery writer.  And upon arrival to her site, the first thing that stands out to me is this brilliant, eye-catching book cover. 

HELLO! She's a redhead. Love redheads! (Why? I don't know. So don't ask.)


Absolutely gorgeous! Who wouldn't love this cover?! Seriously. Tell me who?  

But beyond just being completely intrigued by the lovely cover I was also thoroughly drawn in by the plot.  Here's a little taste of ENTANGLED...
The same questions whirl round and round in my head:

What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?
AM I GOING TO DIE?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with
table,pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unraveling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is
she here?

A story of dangerous secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.

I know. Awesomeness.

So in all my excitement to get my hands on this book, I immediately popped over to Amazon thinking to order a copy on my Kindle, seeing as I have patience the size of a speck on a dust particle.  But alas, when I searched her book it was to only discover that Cat's book hasn't actually been published in the states yet. What?! Ugh. So being that I am part ninja with a self-confessed obsessive nature, I reached out to Cat to find out how I could get my hands on a copy. And I was actually lucky enough to make contact with said author on twitter, @cat_clarke, and was able to ask her about the publication of her book in the US.  Unfortunately, I was sadly informed that her book was not yet available in the states.  So, per Ms. Clarke's suggestion I popped over to The Book Depository to discover that its also currently unavailable at their venue.  The final outcome (after all that) is that I will have to wait (and we all know how patient I am) for her book to become available to be shipped here to the states. *Sigh*

But despite my failed efforts to purchase ENTANGLED, I still think it was a successful morning because 1) meeting and finding new writers is always a positive in my book & because 2) this book STILL looks & sounds AMAZING! 

So, if you haven't already tried out the links in the post, pop over to Cat's site www.catclarke.com and take a looksy.  

Happy reading all!

Monday, June 27, 2011

My Kurt Vonnegut Challenge


As most of you know I'm not only a YA fiction writer, I'm also a YA fiction reader.  My hubby on the other hand is a big non-fiction reader and if and when the mood strikes him to read anything of fiction, it’s usually something of the sci-fi genre.  But ever since college he's been a huge Kurt Vonnegut fan, but over the last year he's been on a serious Vonnegut kick, reading book after book written by the renowned Mr. Vonnegut. And so what's led me to write this post, is the somewhat galled astonishment my husband has expressed toward me at the fact that I've never read anything written by Vonnegut.

And being that I've always thought of myself as an open minded sort of reader, and after years of pressing from my husband, I've decided to take on my husband's Vonnegut challenge and read one of his works.  And as luck would have it, our personal library is filled with Vonnegut books (thanks to my hubby's collector sensibility).  But an idea I had to help make this challenge a little more interesting is that I've decided to allow all of you, my readers, to help me decide which book to read first. (Plus, I'm really awful at making decisions.)  So to all you Vonnegut fans and readers I'm especially interested in hearing from you.

Here are the titles I have to choose from in my hubby's Vonnegut Collection.

1. A Man Without A Country
2. Armageddon In Retrospect
3. Timequake
4. Breakfast of Champions
5. Cat's Cradle
6. Player Piano
7. Deadeye Dick
8. God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian
9. Slaughterhouse-Five
10. The Sirens of Titan
11. Welcome to the Monkey House
12. Mother Night

So tell me, what do you suggest?  Post your vote in the comment section below or you can tweet me your vote to @BlaireKensley.  I'll do a special post Saturday, July 2nd, revealing which book the voters decided I should read for my Vonnegut Challenge.  

YAY! This should be fun. Right?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

THE CREED - Character Inspiration (Part 3)

A continuation of the THE CREED - Character Inspiration, Part 1 and Part 2.

So I'm one of those odd writers who really needs to give a face to my characters while I'm writing.  Usually I search magazines or the internet for the face that I feel best represents the image my brain can't quite visualize on its own, but faces I feel best fit my characters as I write.  For me it adds depth to my writing experience as well as helps to really bring my characters to life in my mind.  Had a little change up from an earlier post for Ava, but I'm very happy with the changes. So with that being said, meet the Cormac Sisters....Ava & Sam! (Gorgeous!)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw as "Ava Cormac"


&
Zoe Kravitz as "Samantha 'Sam' Cormac"




Thursday, June 23, 2011

Do you get paid to do this? Um...

Dear Reader,

That is a very interesting and easy question to answer. No.

Sincerely,
Blaire

Okay, maybe I'm being a little snarky.  And in all honestly, I can completely understand how for some people--especially the person asking me this question--it must seem crazy for someone to put so much time and energy into something that guarantees no serious financial benefit or the promise of being published in the end.  While most writers will (probably) admit, yes, it would be AWESOME, even beyond AWESOME, to be published by some major publishing house with a super-stacked contract deal with all the bells and whistles...writing is also a positive outlet (at least for me).  A semi-insane outlet meant to keep me sane by helping me focus some of the random and not-so-random thoughts and ideas that are constantly bang around my head, and are more than likely causing irreparable neuro-damage.

For me, writing and reading are two passions that I indulge in happily because 1) I LOVE writing and 2) I LOVE reading.  Simple, I know. Yet no less true.  Now why I love these things?  I’m not exactly sure of the science of it all, only that it makes me stupid-crazy-happy when I do them.  Along with the added perk of a rockin' community of people that I’m able to interact with on a daily basis, as we share our ups and downs in pursuing our shared obsession for writing and reading.

And because I'm sure we're all familiar with the writing clich├ęs that often get butchered like a bottle blonde in a horror film, I’ll save you the trite repetition and simply say this...If there's something you've dreamt of or have always wanted to do? Do it. Period. 

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Time to Rock 'n' Roll

The evil green-eyed monster has definitely been lurking in the shadows of late. But I tell you now dear readers...I shall NOT be defeated by this traitorous writer undertaker nor will I go down without a fight.

BRING IT ON YOU EVIL WRITER'S BLOCK!

That's write people! I'm here to take on the world, while the world is here to...well, probably just ignore me until its ready to acknowledge me (whenever that'll be). But I'm here and I'm feeling pretty fan-freakin-tastic and surprisingly very energized after what I can only describe as an odd but very reflective Tuesday.  I ended up being sent home early from work, and not for reasons you think, but due to the A/C unit in the entire building being completely on the fritz and apparently on strike.  Talk about HOT!  So four hours later after pulling out of my rin-tin-tin covered parking space I found myself back at home and not really in the mood to do anything productive so instead found myself watching sappy chick-flicks.

So now, after two great movies (which I thoroughly enjoyed by the way) I'm feeling pumped, rejuvenated and ready to kick the crap out of this story.  Let's do this!

Writer Warrior on the war path! And being that I'm in such an EPIC mood and love posting videos at random, I leave you with these INSPIRING WORDS. Seriously, if I had James Earls Jones proclaiming these words to me each time I sat down to write/edit/or revise, I'm (almost) positive I would be kicking writer's block butt and taking publisher houses' names daily. Boom.





Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!!!

I wanted to send a special Happy Father's Day out to all you fathers out there. And to send an even more special Happy Father's Day wish to my own dad (aka. Diddy). Being a father, I can only imagine, is probably a tough gig to take on, whether you're a veteran in the game or a new father or about to become a new father. And as the years pass and more and more of my friends become parents it’s clear that there is something special in taking on the responsibility of another life.

Growing up, I have to admit, I feel like I really was one of the lucky ones to have had both my mom and dad in the home throughout my childhood. And to have experienced a pretty happy, typical childhood with your standard sibling rivalries and other childhood shenanigans (that our parents still don't know about...well...they may have a clue now). But I always felt secure in the fact that I knew we would always be taken care of and loved, no matter how many times we "accidentally" set the yard on fire. (Sorry, M & D!).

But my dad was, and still remains to be, one of the hardest working men that I love, admire and deeply respect. Raised simple, and one of nine children, in a small Texas town on a country farm (where I too was briefly raised shortly after entering this world).  He always strove to be a man of his word, of good standing and of honor.  And a man who felt a strong desire to instill those same values in his own children, along with a solid sense of morals and a hard work ethic that I still live by to this day and hope to pass on to my children someday. But more often then not he taught these principles by simply letting his actions lead and speak for themselves, working hard to prove that he was more than just a man who talked, but that he was a man who sought to practice what he preached.

Though at times when it seemed he was too tough or just seemed to push us when it felt like we couldn't go any further...its only in looking back that I realize how very powerful an impact he had not only on my life but the lives of so many others around him. Even now he has a way of seeing the world that sometimes leaves me speechless. He's a simple man who had a simple plan...and he achieved all the dreams he set for himself (and still strives to make and conquer more). He was a hard working God-fearing man, a dedicated father, a provider who welcomed all, a successful business man, and a husband to the quirky God-fearing woman he'd always dreamed of spending his life and raising his children with.  A true success story in my eyes.

He taught me that even though there are no guarantees in life and that life is sometimes simply hard (which he will tell you from experience). He also believed that there is no shame in failing if you truly tried and gave it your best. Because often when one door seems to be closing, its only because another one is ready to be opened.

BOTH my parents have always been two of my biggest supporters and fans in this journey of mine to achieve my life goals and dreams. Always there with a word of encouragement, I know that no matter what happens, they will still be there rooting for me through whatever adventure I take on next. So with that being said...love you mama! And Diddy, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!  Thank you for all you've done and sacrificed for me over the years and wish I could be there to celebrate this day with you!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thank goodness it's Friday! TGIF!!!


Yes people, it’s just been one of those days.  But I’m glad to say its almost over, and I have a whole weekend ahead of me with nothing planned but to maybe take in a movie, and have a nice big Saturday breakfast after sleeping in ridiculously late (which more or less means waking up at 7 AM instead of 5:30 or 6). Ugh. It’s like a disease, this waking up so ridiculously early.

But any who…

This post is more or less to wish everyone a HAPPY FRIDAY and a GREAT WEEKEND!!!  And if you haven’t already, go to your local bookstores and pickup up a copy of one of the fabulous new novels I wrote a fabulous post about earlier this week. ;-)

Oops! Now I did almost forget...there is one SUPER highlight in this weekend that I wanted to boast about.  The ultra fabulous Lauren Kate, author of the exciting FALLEN SERIES, will be having a book signing tonight at the Southlake Town Square's B&N in Southlake, TX @ 7 PM.  She is promoting Book #3 of her series, PASSION.  So if you're in the area, and have some time and are in search of a fabulous new series to read, then I suggest you pop on over and say “hello” to the iridescent Lauren Kate. 

 
Well, that’s about all I have.  I’m pooped.  But if I can manage to scrounge up the energy, or better yet, find my mojo (which I'm sure I lost somewhere in my sofa's cushions last night), then I’ll hopefully get a real post up sometime over the weekend.  But until then stay classy readers and keep it clean!

Happy Reading!

PS - Here's a little something to get you rockin' into your weekend!  LOVE IT!!!

Natasha Bedingfield "Strip Me"




Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What was I thinking?!!!

Ever get the feeling that you've possibly bitten off more than you could chew? Or experienced one of those “D'oh!" moments?

Yeah, me neither.

But if I had had one of these moments I think I’d probably be doing a bit of what I’m doing now, which is wondering if I may have taken on a project that was far too much for me to handle.  I sometimes wonder about this as I sit before my computer, the cursor blinking tauntingly back at me waiting for me to give it the old typer-action.  But this morning, while I made my usual 30 mile commute to work, I couldn’t help dwelling on something that's been niggling at the back of my mind for a while, but until now have managed to keep it suppressed.  

Have I really taken on a story that’s out of my league and beyond my level of ability? I mean seriously, who do I think I am?

But no sooner did these hateful thoughts enter my mind that I quickly recalled these small yet poignant words…OH, SHUT UP!!! THIS IS MY STORY AND I CAN TELL IT IF I DARN WELL WANT TO!

And then magically, I started to feel much better. 

I know as writers we often suffer what I like to call chronic-I-suck-and-my-writing-is-crap meltdowns, but please, before you do anything hasty or drastic just cool the jets.  Take a break, grab some coffee, exercise, do anything just don't hack into your work or make any sort of life changing decision while in this crazy whacked out mood.  I’m sure a great many brilliant stories have been lost to the green-eyed meltdown monster over the centuries but remember that fear of failure and doubt is actually just a real part of this crazy process.  So when you’re feeling down, just know that you’re not alone and are in fact in very good company. :-)

WRITER WARRIORS!!! YOU WILL BE CONQUERORS!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Light At The End Of The Tunnel


Though I’ll admit this has been one of the toughest editing processes I’ve ever had, re-writes are actually coming along a lot better than expected at this point.  And I’m thinking, surprisingly enough, that I may just finish my edits before my deadline.  Which would be such a load off.   So as long as my characters keep behaving and not get any crazy ideas to deviate too much from my original draft then I imagine things will continue to flow smoothly along, causing me (more importantly) the least amount of pain and discomfort.  YAY!

At present things are starting to intensify quite a bit in round three of my editing.  I feel as if the story is actually starting to take me along for the ride more than the other way around.  But I’m really excited to finally be close enough to finishing this round of edits to be thinking about finally getting my manuscript into the hands of a few well trusted peeps for some much needed feedback.   I’m still incredibly nervous about the whole having others read my work, which is kind of a ridiculous feeling to have as a writer, but to me this is the equivalent of an actor or performer who suffers stage fright right before the big performance.  (It happens people!)  And while it does nearly scare the you-know-what out of me, I think I'm finally ready to take my writing to that next level.  After all, if not to take it to the next level, than what am I doing this for?

So I'll continue to tinker along, and of course keep you as informed as possible along the way, but until next time I hope everyone has a great Tuesday!  And if you get the chance to stop by your local bookstore, you should pop in to pickup a few of these great reads!  Happy Reading!



 


(Book 3 in the FALLEN series)








Monday, June 13, 2011

THE CREED - Character Inspiration (Part 2)

Dear Readers,

I was so excited I couldn't even wait to do this in granduer fashion.  And as my earlier blog indicated, it always makes me feel my characters are more alive if I have a face to put to the names.  Well, readers I'd like to introduce you to Nicholas Alexandre James Vallery, long-time best friend of our beloved Ava Cormac and also hot stuff.

Tyler Hoechlin

I think he rounds off this pack quite nicely.  I think my writing duties may have just got 100% times easier (or at least way more fun)...what do you think? *Sigh* Only time will tell.  So with that being said, I think it's time to get to work!!!

Happy Reading!


THE CREED - Character Inspiration


I love having a face to put to my characters.  Just because it always seems to give more life to the story as I’m writing it.  While some writers prefer to allow their readers to experience and build characters in their own mind, I’m of mind to do something different.  And since this is my blog and its my story…I WANT TO SHARE! 

Here's a little summary of Book 1 of my series, THE CREED...

Ava Cormac was born different, extraordinary even—something she’s always sort of suspected—but what she’ll soon discover following her eighteenth birthday is that being extraordinary is not only a social nightmare (especially when you’re eighteen), but is also dangerous and at its worst very deadly.

For Ava the stories of angels and fallen were always nothing more than bedtime stories told to her and her sister, Sam, as little girls. But the world she knows soon begins to interweave with a world she once believed to only exist in bedtime stories and the pages of ancient texts.  Yet the deeper Ava falls into the seductive world inhabited by the beautifully dark fallen—meeting the mysterious and celestially alluring, Seth—the more the lines between good and evil begin to blur.  Especially when it’s revealed that not only is Ava a marked descendant of one of the most powerful lines of the secret hybrid race of fallen and humans, known as the Nephilim.  But that the powers of her ancestors runs through her veins and she alone may possess the key that can unlock the fate of all mankind and fallen in the world.   

The main character of my story, Ava is eighteen-years-old and on the verge of embarking on a dark journey into a world she’d before only believed to have existed in stories…that is until it becomes a very real part of her life.

So over time, as the story has progressed and the characters have become more alive to me I’ve come to visualize Ava, as the beautiful and talented Zoe Kravitz.


 
I recently got a glimpse of Zoe in action in the latest X-Men First Class film and not only was it excellent but so was the talented Zoe.  

And as for the alluring Seth...I think Garrett Hedlund definitely leads the list of males to take on the edgy role of my semi-dark hero. 


So these are the faces that traverse my mind on a daily basis while I work and pour my blood and sweat into getting Book 1 of my series completed.  I have to say, I think I keep very nice mental company, don't you?

Also...check out my FAQ page for answers to some of those buzzing questions of yours!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And the EPIC adventure continues...


WARNING: This post may be at risk of being really gushy and ultra girlie.

So I'll be honest and say I'm gonna be a real girlie-girl about this, and so with that being said, TODAY'S MY 4TH YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!!!  WEEEEEEEEEE!!! We've survived! (And I really wanted to get this guy to perform our ceremony, but he was all booked up. JK! Love you Karl!)


Whew! Okay that felt really good.  Haha! Today marks four years of marriage for my hubby and I.  Which translates to four moves, numerous guinea pig meals (stopped counting after month one), disaster home-improvement incidents, gaffe gifts (anyone want a blender), arguments, triumphs, goals met, promotions, trips, moments that made us cry (both good and bad), loss of loved ones, new friendships, new life (I love da babies), wedding showers, baby showers, weddings and of course the list could go on and on...ISN'T LOVE GRAND!  But in all seriousness, and despite my joking, marriage has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my life.  I'll be the first to admit that its not always a bed of roses, but it definitely makes the adventure much sweeter when you have someone there holding your hair after bad Chinese food, or rubbing your feet after a long day of work.  

I've always been the rather scatter-brained-off-the-wall-sorta-artsy-fartsy type with a rebel streak that runs a mile high.  But marriage has managed to change absolutely none of those things about me.  Which may only go to show that love truly is blind OR (possibly) in my husband’s case, mentally damaging. :-/ (Just Kidding).

But the point I'm trying to make and not quick enough, is that I'm so glad I chose this path.  (And for those of you who want to save your breakfast, lunch or dinner you can skip ahead to the cool movie clip, because here comes the gushy part.  Duck and cover.) 

I often stop to think about how so many parts of life are uncertain. And how there are really only a few major-milestone moments that we’re actually given the chance to choose our experiences.  Moments that allow us to really live up to our full potential or take us down the paths to becoming that better version of ourselves.  More importantly, I just wanted to say to my Mr. X (you know who you are) that I am truly lucky and blessed to have you, as my husband and best friend, on this adventure with me.

So as this EPIC journey that is my marriage continues, I looking forward to all the surprises and even the not-so-surprises to come (after all this is a real marriage).  So here’s to a LONG life full of royal goofs, random noises under the covers, awkward PDA moments, bad morning breath, inappropriate touching, beautiful progeny, epic family road trips, Griswald style family holidays, his and hers depends, gravity, and steamy magical nights of drool-worthy sleep after weeks of sleep deprivation with a newborn (TBA). ;-)

Love you baby!!!

PS - Being that I'm a self confessed movie addict, you guys must have known I wouldn't let an opportunity like this to go by without a special clip.  I offer this as a tribute to our special day. Enjoy!

The Princess Bride - "The Wedding"

 
Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Got Music?


 
I’m definitely a writer who needs a source of outside energy flowing around her in order to sustain an adequate outpouring of creative juices to get results.  For me music is one of the biggest components to my writing process.  There’s just something about finding the perfect song that can literally help me connect to a scene or sync me into the mind of a character I’m writing or help in beefing up to some gut-punching dialogue.  Its about the connection and synergy you generate to find that perfect median in character building, plot arranging or just deciding on the perfect setting of a scene.  Often for me, it depends on my mood and the direction the story takes.  The darker a character is or gradually becomes as the story progresses the more my music selection begins to evolve and naturally drifts with the flow of the story. 

I would say that I am as much a music junkie for good writing music as I am for seeing and collecting movies.  Which is saying a lot if you know me and know of my movie obsession and excessive movie collection.

Always in search of good music, I’m always open to taking suggestions if you have them to offer.   Having the perfect playlist come together while I'm writing simply helps me to take things to a whole new level.  Not saying this is always the case for all writers, but in my particular case it greatly helps.  So here’s a sample of one of the playlists I’ve made and have listened to in the process of writing Book #1 of my YA series, THE CREED.

1.  Massive Attack - Teardrop

2.  Aqualung  - Strange & Beautiful

3.  Massive Attack - Angel

4.  Lykke Li - Possibility

5.  Sia - Breathe

6.  Flyleaf – All Around Me

7.  A Perfect Circle – Passive

8.  The Cranberries – Zombies (ok, I really like The Cranberries, may see a lot of them)

9.  The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony

10.  Jimmy Eat World – Get It Faster

11.  Flyleaf – Fully Alive


And for kicks and giggles here's a taste of where I'm at musically and mentally this morning.  Enjoy!

Survivor "Eye of the Tiger"


  
Happy Reading!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What I’ve learned about writing and the world of social media


I will openly admit I used to be one of those people who scoffed and snickered at people who used facebook, were open bloggers, and more annoyingly the people who constantly checked their twitter to see what so-and-so had tweeted about that day.  I mean seriously, who cared about so and so having waffles instead of pancakes for breakfast or if so and so should have cake instead of ice cream for dessert? 

Looking back I realize it’s a very human response to devalue and mock what you don’t know or understand.  It’s a form of fear.  And once I made the decision to face my fear and find out for myself what social media was all about and why so many people really valued it, I quickly became a believer.  Since then, I have become completely sucked into the media shuffle and can honestly say I’ve changed my tune and am so glad I did.  I’ve literally discovered a whole other side to writing, publishing and just other writers in general since becoming more connected through facebook, blogging and twitter.  I feel lucky to have also found a number of fantastic writers I’ve come to admire and respect, and who drive me to continue my own journey in achieving my dreams of seeing my own book on the bookshelf of my local bookstore.

One of the really great things I’ve discovered about the whole social media networking system is how connected and interactive other writers, and aspiring writers, are with one another through this median.  I've gained a strong sense of not being alone in my struggles, doubts and fears, and have come to value how open and honest others are willing to be with you if you’re ready and willing to listen.

Social media has become a way for many writers to chronicle their journeys.  For some starting from the beginning with the inception of their book idea, then going all the way (in some cases) to getting published and making it in a big way.  But for a great many its also about helping those who are following in their paths to achieve their own success.  I have a list of writers that I personally follow on my own page under “Awesome Blogs & Sites”.  On their sites many open up and discuss the up and downs of their journey and experiences, and how more than anything its been their blind-crazy determination and stubbornness that’s gotten them through the many months and sometimes years of not getting picked up by an agent or having publisher after publisher turn them away.  I’m pretty positive I still have many of these battles to face myself, but it definitely gives me hope to know I’m not the first nor will I be the last to take this path. 

I feel lucky to have formed the bonds that I have so far, and to be part of a really special community of YA writers.  So I wanted to send a huge thank you to all those who have gone out on a limb to support me in my wild adventure to becoming published.  And to also express how great it feels to be apart of something that’s bigger than just me and knowing that there is purpose in both having and being actively passionate about something you love to do.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Gotta Love Lazy Sundays

I would say this has been a record breaking lazy Sunday.  I took a six, count it, six hour nap today.  It was fantastic.  But this could also explain my not falling asleep before in the morning.  I hope this isn't a sign of me getting sick.  I'm hoping its simply my bodies response to this HOTTER THAN THE SUN heat we've been dealing with the past couple of weeks.  Heat + Fatigue = No energy, must nap.

So with a significant amount of lost time, I'm hoping to make up for lost time by doing two things at once by 1) getting some editing done &  2) watching the NBA Game 3 final between the Heat and Mavericks.  Not exactly productive strategy but I just have to watch the series...I just gotta!

So I’m pushing to get a nice chunk of editing done tonight.  Especially with a reasonably busy week planned up ahead.  I know I need to utilize my time as effectively as possible, and am hoping I can muster up some of that discipline I’ve heard so much about.  As mentioned before I’ve set up a deadline of August to get my edits completed but I definitely have to put a bit more gumption in my mojo if I intend to make this deadline.  I’m thinking a new workspace may be one answer to my dilemma.  My home space is so distracting, movies, cat, comfy couch to take long LONG naps on.  Yeah, change of work environment is definitely a good idea.  I should check out the Barnes & Noble nearby and setup shop there.  A change of environment could definitely be just what the doctor ordered to get some work done.

I’m shooting to get at least 2-3 chapters edited this week and need to get at least as many chapters edited to make my deadline.  So wish me luck and here’s to a productive week on the edit machine.  Happy Reading! And GO HEAT!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Super Duper FRIDAY


I feel like I could move faster than a streak of lightening! Be more powerful than a locomotive! Leap tall buildings in a single bound…


ALL because it’s SUPER DUPER FRIDAY! (In my best EPIC galaxy narrator voice)

Yes folks.  Another week comes to an end and we are steam rolling into the fire pit of summer.  We’re already brushing shoulders and holding hands with nearly 100-degree weather and boy is it burnin’.  But the sun won’t be the only hot thing about this summer…because this summer will (in my opinion) prove to be one full of grand cinematic landmarks.  The last and final (thank goodness, I thought it would never end) Harry Potter film will be hitting theaters July 17th.  And honestly, I can’t wait to watch this story’s finale unfold on the big screen.  It’s predicted to be a display of epic proportions.  And I think I believe it.

And if some of you may not have concluded to this point from previous blogs…I’m a HUGE movie junkie.  I love movies!  It’s actually more like a really unhealthy obsession (I can admit it and say that it’s currently a work in progress).  But its not just movies, I’m talking about someone taking an idea or a story concept and turning it into a spectacular visual effect or a book that’s so well written the words literally jump off the page and come to life.  These are my version of crack! 

So if you didn’t know, now you know.

On the other side of the coin there is the NBA Finals that I’ve been following quite closely throughout the playoffs and its now down to the Heat and Mavs.  Now I know most people find this odd since I live in Dallas, but I am not a Mavs fan.  And I am most definitely not a Dirk fan.  So if we encounter each other on the street or at some random block party brawl DO NOT sing his praises to me.  I’m very aware of his stats (and other whatnot) but believe me when I say I will not budge on this issue. So that being said I’m moving on.  GO HEAT!

As far as my edits go, its still pretty much a slow and grueling process.  But I can see things getting better, and there is definitely the glimmer of a small night light at the end of the tunnel, so in the end it still feels worth all the effort and time put in.  But I find myself constantly getting hung up on, one after another, minor sentences and word phrasing and then not being able to move past them.  Thoroughly frustrating, but I guess I’ll need to bite the bullet at some point if I actually want to move forward in my edits.  So that’s one constant internal battle I’m facing on a daily basis, but my characters are really starting to flesh out in my brain and on the page, and that’s always a perk to this process.

So to tie up this week’s blogger fest on a good note, I’ll hand you lovely readers over into the musical hands of my man Frank!  Have a great weekend all and happy reading!!!

“Come Fly With Me”


Thursday, June 2, 2011

[Untitled] by ME! <-- working title of my life


So the winds are shifting and I think the world may actually be spinning in the other direction.  You ever have those moments in life where EVERYTHING seems to be going in the wrong direction all of a sudden.  But luckily, my life doesn't really fall into that particular category of life disasters.   This is more of a, “CRAP! Did I just step into a wad of very-berry-bubblegum in my favorite lucky pair of pumps?!  UGH!”

So overall, things, as they say, could be worse.  Especially if discarded bubblegum super-gluing me to the heat-like-the-sun pavement is really my worst worries (metaphorically speaking).  But without going into specifics of my life, lets just say I’ve had some major league curveballs thrown my way and its gonna take some serious focus and determination to get through what’s up ahead with my pride intact and with minimal random acts of desperation. (For those who can’t hear it, this is my being overly melodramatic.) 

Writing has definitely gone a long way in keeping me sane during the more trying events in my life, ever since high school where it always felt like there was just something not quite normal in the sense of what is considered normal in high school is never really normal.  Reading and writing were always something that brought me comfort when I was younger and still does to this very day.

But lately I've been sensing this incredible build up of “Bellyfire” inside of me.  This insatiable need to work harder and to keep pushing more than ever to get the job done and get this book finished.  It’s like my life won’t feel right or balanced until I finally can say its finished and finally start the querying process to (hopefully) land a Rockstar-Super-Ninja Agent.  I’ve been digging deep the past few months trying to write the most kick-butt query letter that’s ever been written.  But I will admit, the querying and synopsis aspect of submission is probably my least favorite part of all this.  The whole process of having to condense a story that has torn me in two’s three’s and four’s for the past couple years into a couple of tight compact paragraphs is almost like asking me to commit self-torture on myself.  Yet here I am, eagerly anticipating finally having the perfect words to say when the moment comes to present my baby to the world of publishing.

Recently, I have received quite a few questions about what sort of YA fiction do I write?  So I’ll be adding a very VERY short FAQ page in the near future to answer some of the more common questions I’ve been asked regarding my writing.  It’s sort of odd, when I actually tell people I write fiction they get this sort of wild glint in their eyes and suddenly I’ve become this sort of odd entity to them.  But believe me there’s nothing glamorous or glitzy about writing, or more specifically, what “I” do in particular. 

But I’m hoping that won’t always be the case.

As for something really interesting…here’s a bit of fun news! (At least, its fun to me.)  A friend of mine has been selected to do a Texas Multi Mamas reality show on WEtv.  Suz is the one with the QUADS!!! Yes, FOUR toddlers! Ah! I fully suggest checking out her fabulous blog Steece's Pieces!  If that's not cool, I don’t know what is!  

But if you have something really exciting you’d like to share I would love to hear it.  But until next time, keep it clean peeps and happy reading!!!