Friday, July 30, 2010

Book Giveaway!

Book Giveaway! These books* have been on my shelf for awhile and I haven't read them yet, so I've decided to do some late spring cleaning. They'll make great summer reading for someone who likes mysteries and romance (neither of which are my cup of tea). They're not new titles, but great books all the same. To enter, simply leave a comment to this post. I'll pick a winner at random on 8/3/10. Spread the word & Good Luck!

*Here's a list of the titles with author names:
Death's Autograph by Marianne MacDonald
Men: Made In America by Patricia Coughlin
Cat to the Dogs by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Father of the Brood by Terry Essig
Hidden in Plain View by Blair S.Walker
White Elephant by Carolyn Hart
Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Youngadultwriters TWIBE (Twitter Group)

Twitter users - I just started a Twibe called YoungAdultWriters. If you have an interest in YA writing, YA authors, or you just love to read YA literature come join us at: Youngadultwriters Twitter Group

What is a Twibe? A Twibe is a group of Twitter users interested in a common topic.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Event Alert - Teen Book Buzz Fall 2010

These webinars are worth attending. I've attended a couple of them and it's great research to hear how publishers market new books. And you'll probably be writing furiously with a list of books you want to read once their released.

Here are the details:
Teen Book Buzz Fall 2010

SPONSORED BY: School Library Journal, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Harlequin TEEN and Kimani TRU
EVENT DATE: Thursday, August 19, 2010– 3:00 PM EDT – 60 minutes

Here's the link for more details and to register:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bored With The Music On The Radio

I think I need an ipod. For the last few days I've turned on the radio only to find the same songs playing over and over and over again. And then I just shut off the radio. Is anyone else feeling as bored with this as I am?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Published - Singing Water

I'm excited! Last night, I found out that my poem "Singing Water" got published in the July/August 2010 issue of The New Hampshire Troubadour. What a nice surprise at the end of a rollercoaster week. Here's a link to the online version: Singing Water

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Character Inspiration

Sitting in the lobby of the hospital yesterday, waiting for some lab results, I happened to meet a man who I think will become a character in one of my stories. Isn't it never know where inspiration will come from. This was an older gentleman, from Italy, who had some amazing stories to tell about his life and his journey from Italy to America. I listened intently, making some mental notes, and afterwards he stuck in my mind most of the day. His mannerisms, speech patterns, and authenticity were memorable - what more could I want in a character!

So it made me wonder, where do you get inspiration for your characters?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Young Adult - The Genre

YA (young adult) - It's a category that is on the rise, made increasingly popular by Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, and so many other amazing titles in the genre. It's the genre I feel most drawn to right now both in what I read and in my writing. I was asked recently why I chose YA over writing for adults. My answer: YA literature is authentic, emotional, cutting-edge, and all done in the most concise writing possible.
Not to say adult literature doesn't have all of these things, but YA literature requires it. And if you think that YA is all fluff and no substance, then you haven't read books like, "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman, "The Adoration of Jenna Fox" by Mary E. Pearson, or "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. Not only do these titles deal with death (If I Stay) and identity (The Adoration of Jenna Fox), but also tackle hefty topics like the impact of government (The Hunger Games). The are engaging books that leave you thinking about them long after the books are back on the shelf.

So what is YA anyway? Well, I did a blog post last year that answers that very question. Here's the link: What is YA

The May/June issue of Writers Digest had a great article (pages 26-31) titled, "YA today" by Jessica Strawser. It was a round table with agents and editors discussing "what's hot, what's not, and what you need to know to break in." Good for anyone interested in writing for the YA category.

And another good resource is: YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association).

So pick up a good YA book, and you may just be hooked.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Last night I sequestered myself with my manuscript and did a plot brainstorming session. I worked on several brainstorms: chapter timeline, main story/plot lines, and character development over the span of the story. My goal: to tweak the story midpoint to end with building momentum, story development that feels spot on (not cheesy), and dénouement.

The first half of the manuscript is tight and feels exciting when I read it, but now the work begins on the second half. I have a couple ideas that may require minor tweaks to the beginning of the manuscript but just to keep the story consistent.

Tonight, I continue with the brainstorm session, and then tomorrow it’s back to revisions that follow the new ideas. One step closer to polishing the novel!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back From An Amazing Trip

I'm back! Camping last week was amazing. It was a great time to unwind, refocus, and spend quality time with my family. We swam in a lake, walked the rocky shoreline of the ocean, battled the bugs, played lot's of games, roasted marshmellows, lit sparklers, and so much more. Here are a few pictures from the trip. Enjoy!

Friday, July 09, 2010

See You All In A Week!

I'll be offline all of next week, so don't think I've disappeared or anything. It's time for the annual camping trip. Waking to the sound of loons on the lake, coffee heated on the coleman stove, dinners by the campfire, smores, swimming and hiking, all things I'm looking forward to.

And I'm bringing a hard copy of my manuscript so I can get some early morning writing sessions in. And they'll be plenty of reading time. I'm bringing two books with me, Specials by Scott Westerfeld and A Painted House by John Grisham. I've started them both and will probably finish both on this trip.

But most of all, I'm looking forward to time with my family, quality time without the tv, XBox, Wii, or radio.

I'll try to remember to take pictures and post them when I get back. So have a great week, and I'll be back on the blog on Monday the 19th.
Specials (The Uglies)A Painted House

Thursday, July 08, 2010

What part of a story do you find easier to write?

What part of a story do you find easier to write? Had I answered that question a year ago, I would have said the end. But now I think I find it easier to write the beginning. I've finally grasped the idea of starting with a hook, drawing a reader in right from the start. It's where the characters unfold, and worlds are created.

I've toiled over the first half of my current manuscript, whipping sentences into shape, and polishing each word. I read the first have and I even get excited about it...and I wrote it. Now it's the back end that needs a lot of work. To end a story in just the right way, to ice the cake so to speak but yet still leave the readers hungering for more. That is truly a skill. And hopefully when I'm done with this second half I'll have gained as much confidence in crafting that part of the story as I did with the beginning.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Wattpad - What's It All About?

Have you discovered Wattpad yet? I just did this weekend. So what isWattpad? From their website:
Founded in 2006, Wattpad's vision is to revolutionize the way we publish and read written works. Wattpad is now the world's most popular ebook community where readers and writers discover, share and connect, delivering billions of pages from our library, one of the world's largest collection of originally-created ebooks. Wattpad provides a powerful creative outlet and social media for undiscovered and published writers to share what they have written - a romance story, fan fiction, poetry or novel - and attract millions of readers. All the written works are easily discovered on Wattpad's website, mobile site or through the Wattpad application available on all mobile devices including Apple iPhone/iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia, Samsung and more.

In addition to be a great place to share & read writing, they also offer several contests. Two of the current contests are:
The Watty Awards, Our Annual Reader Voted Story Awards
"Get Your Poem Published" Extravaganza! Contest Sponsored by Frontenac House

I just entered a poem in the second contest. If you are curious, here's the link to my entry: Punctured and Porouse, I Become
And did you hear this: 15-Year-Old Writer Counts 6.5 Million Reads (and yes, that was on Wattpad). Abigail Gibbs has been able to create a huge following for her story.
It's worth checking out!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Contest Alert - Cheerios New Author Contest

There's only a few more days left to enter this contest. The deadline is July 15, 2010. The Cheerios New Author Contest is looking for children's stories, 500 words or less, with content appropriate for kids 3-8 years old. There is no cost to enter.

Grand prize is $5,000 cash (& the winning story will be offered to Simon & Schuster for future publication). Two runners-up will receive $1,000.

To enter, go online to Spoonfuls of Stories.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Happy 4th of July Weekend!

I'm out of words today. I think my brain is already on holiday mode. So the post is just a quick note to wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July weekend!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Book Release Countdown - Mockingjay

And the countdown has been set on the release of the book Mockingjay, the third book in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Can't wait!!!!!