Showing posts from 2015

Happy New Year of Writing!

The holidays have been joyous and wonderful. Hope yours were, too! I'm finally back to writing after trying to accomplish Christmas. I swear it's a full-time job. Lol! I spent a ridiculous amount of time adding details to 2 1/2 pages of draft material today. I don't know why it took so long, wish it hadn't, but I am really pleased with the outcome. Happy New Year!

For You Writers Out There

Don't you just love it when you read a book by another author and you learn something new that will help with your own writing? I'm reading Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. I'm not much into fantasy, but I'm beginning to see the light. He uses this interesting technique at the end of his book, basically character jumping within the same chapter, but it's delineated and very clear whose perspective it is. The plot unfolds so fast with snippets from more than the two main characters and is resolving perfectly, tying up all these bits of the story that didn't seem important at the time, but now make perfect sense as to why they were put there in first place. I'm writing a sequel to a yet unpublished work and I'm excited to try it:)

I Can Always Imagine I'm There

Been writing about these two places and it's staving off cabin fever (10 weeks housebound and counting due to illnesses and hip replacement, but things are looking up:) Funny how your brain works when it's busy;) My male MC, Nicholas, decides he's going to take Meg (who's now queen and with whom he's allied) to a special place (gorgeous waterfall with a hot spring--yeah, yeah--romantic) to make a special promise. She's broken-hearted, but I'll keep that part a secret. They have to travel from the castle, across hilly grasslands and into the forest in the springtime. I would dearly love for them to encounter a bluebell forest like this. Isn't that color to die for?

Thankful, Really, I Am!

I've spent months ignoring my blog.
There's a pretty darn good reason for it. I had hip replacement surgery six weeks ago. I'm getting along better than I have in 18 months, pain free, and walking without a limp (and without assistance). I'm using my Fitbit to gain strength and fitness, but it is slow-going. I have to go by increments because I can't overdo and have muscle flares. I injured a muscle last March that is just now beginning to heal. That's 8 months ago!!! To be honest, my mind has been on my joint problems, which until recently, have been overwhelming. I guess I can cut myself some slack over the whole blog thing.
Health problems aside, I still go the rounds in my mind: "If you want to be an author, Shantal, and get people interested in you and your work, you've got to be more of a presence in the online world, ENGAGE, and make friends with people." 
I just read a blog by Jami Gold who reiterated this same point. I love that she is grate…

Writers Have Got to Get Out and Live!

That's right!
We've got to get out in the world and live our lives, or we will have absolutely nothing to write about.
It's just my personal opinion, of course, but it's based on a recent epiphany. My family spends a week at Snowbird every year during the summer. Last year was a rainy year. Not great for outdoor activity, but we made the best of it. We hiked down Gad Valley through the most awesome fog and mist ever, and it was intermingled with rays of sunshine. It was like being in a fantasy novel, so strange, but idyllic all at once. Despite the fact that we got wet, it was so worth it to be in the middle of that natural phenomenon. The next day, a fog filled the canyon. You know like the one in the Ten Commandments with Charleton Heston that represents the Passover? I never thought fog did that, that it was just a Hollywood special effect. But wow, the fog swirled and crept and left droplets over everything. It was soooo cool! And, YES, that fog and mist is going in…

Who Has the Time?

Do you write during the summer?
Seriously, I don't have a full time job or little kids and I can't seem to find the time.
Send help!

Well, I have my reasons. I'm just not sure they're very good reasons.
1) The month of May: I'm a gardener and it is one of the busiest months of the year for me. Here are a few samples of how things are looking at my place. I especially love flowers that grow in pots.

 Am I right, or am I right? Gorgeous. I love watching them grow all summer.

 2) Travel: My husband is an extraordinary history professor. I'm not just being biased. Ask anyone who knows him. He is gifted. He spent many summers away from home (since when my kids were itty bitty) working for school districts and the Larry Miller Education Foundation taking teachers on history tours.

He really has a knack for making you "feel" the emotion and the power and the significance behind historical events.
One of the teachers on a previous tour told her father how much sh…

Duly Chastised

Am I a lazy blogger or what?
I haven't written since the first day of Spring and I'm lucky to post once a month. Why, you ask? Well, there's this little thing called writing a book that I am always more drawn to, have more passion for, and just want to get done. Blogging gets in the way of that.
But, honestly, no one is going to read my book when it's finally done if I don't cultivate a readership, and more importantly, friends.
That's the big lesson I learned when I attended the Arizona Dreamin' Building the Dream Romance Writers Conference. I normally would not have gone outside of Utah for a conference. Utah has a very large, supportive writing community and there are tons of very fine conferences here, many of which I've attended, learned a lot, and met new writers and friends. 
But Arizona Dreamin' had Camelia Miron Skiba attending and I couldn't miss the opportunity to meet her. 

Why? Well, she's one of my online critique partners. She…

Happy Spring!

Today is a great day, not only because it's the first day of Spring, but because I have great news! 

I recently finished the second draft of my book and it is getting rave reviews from beta readers. 

I plan on attending a romance writers convention in May and will have the opportunity to pitch my book to agents and publishers. Although, I reserve the right to indie publish if I choose to go that route. Many writers are finding enormous success traveling the indie road. We'll see what happens. I want to make the best choice for this little gem of mine.

I've been saving beta reader comments, but the latest I got is from a lady who was really happy to have something good to read while going on a cruise. Here's what she sent me:  "Reading your book on the plane. You are amazing!"

She was only on the first chapter when she sent me that comment:) Yes, she thought the rest of it was wonderful, too. In fact, we talked on the phone the other night and she had all these qu…

Wishing on Baby Dust by Lydia Winters

I think this is such an interesting topic. I really wanted to help this author spread the word.

Infertility stinks. No one knows that better than Megan. After six years of insanity-inducing hormone drugs and desperate prayers, all she has to show for her efforts are enough negative pregnancy tests to fill a bassinet. All around her women are accidentally getting pregnant—like her star piano student—while Megan remains hopelessly barren. Megan’s never felt so alone. But she’s not the only one struggling.
Christina has just entered the world of infertility, made worse by the fact her husband isn’t ready to be a father. Their marriage, already hanging in the balance, is being torn apart.
Then there’s Kyra, the mother of a precocious three-year-old. She’s shocked to be struggling with secondary infertility. A baby is priceless, but sometimes Kyra feels like she’s being forced to choose which commandment to keep: stay out of debt, or multiply and replenish the earth.
When Megan an…

What Did I Read Last Year? Really?

Talk about a kick in the pants. Yeah, you're gonna hear what I read last year. Bet ya can't wait;)

 It's just what I needed to get going on my blog again.

My critique group, called Writer's Ramble, is focusing on what we all read last year. I'm not sure I'm ready to give out this information. It feels like I'm opening up about something that's a bit too personal. As if anyone bats an eye about that anymore. I guess it's public enough. I do have a Goodreads account, after all:)

Here's what I know for a fact about my reading habits. Since, I'm writing a book about a princess, much of my reading has been devoted to that, researching what I can about when they lived, their lives and the problems that they encounter and must solve.

Another aspect of my reading is has to do with my husband. We like to talk about books, so there are murder mysteries, detective novels and courtroom dramas.

And last, but not least, I enjoy reading books that my frien…