Showing posts from 2016

Almost Hit the Mark

Psst! I'm here to interrupt your holiday festivities to let you know that I had a very productive November! Didn't get the 50K, was shooting for half that and got very close. So, I'm half a winner, I guess. I also had a birthday, an anniversary, Thanksgiving and a bunch of other commitments that I knew would steal time away from my writing, so I'm feeling pretty good about this accomplishment. I really do think I can finish this book in January. I mean, really, what happens in January? Except for skiing, of course!
So, after the family Christmas party that I'm in charge of tomorrow night, I'm going to write about my experience doing NaNoWriMo. It has been an adventure, to say the least.
Happy Holidays! 

NaNoWriMo in November? Why???

Okay, who has an anniversary, a birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas prep all in the month of November? That would be me, so why am I doing NaNoWriMo? I'll have to answer that question after I get through this month, because frankly, I just don't have time to do anything other than try to plow through this second novel. I'm even cutting back on the goal, but only because I have several chapters already written.

I guess I'm a nano rebel because I'm shooting for 25,000, half the nano goal, but sheesh, November is busy and right before the holidays. Staying chained to the computer is harder than I thought! Oh, I've never gone red before. Not sure I'm loving it, but it was fun to try.

Another fun fact: I pinned this photo to Pinterest and it has gotten more likes and repins from people all over the world than anything I've ever posted. She's inspiration for my main male character's grandmother. I just wrote her into a chapter yesterday and I really lo…

Halloween For a Kid Far, Far Away

Halloween has changed for me. No more cute kids in costumes. Bittersweet. I made this for my missionary son today, blasted some good old rock-n-roll and got my craft on. And since hardly anyone comes trick-or-treating to my door, I intend to party!

Oh, and I've finished the 17th chapter to my sequel. I'm very happy with it!

Why Was That So Hard?

Actually, I felt this way about the entire chapter I'm writing this week. It has been HARD. I just stared at the screen and banged my head on the keyboard forever. I finally just decided to start writing the dialog (I'm better at that) and then the resonance finally came. Wow, what a struggle! I wish the words would've flowed easier on this one.

Plot for Sequel

Since sending my MS to an agent, my mojo has been messed up. To say that I've struggled with plotting for the sequel in my series would be an understatement. I finally got serious and figured out what's going to happen with Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet from Save the Cat. What a lifesaver! I still have lots of room to let the plot go where it will with my imagination, but I have bullet points, people.Yes!!!

The Perfect Title

I'm still searching for the perfect title. This is really eluding me!!!

What book title would you investigate further? The Stars Whispered or Between Flame and Fury? Some explanation: The main character finds solace in the stars and a bit of revelation regarding her role in the war, kind of an epiphany. She's a princess in-between a rock and a hard place. The flame is her secret love and the fury is the war. My mom said, yes I listen to my mom (hey, she reads this genre;) that Between Flame and Fury sounds like a bodice-ripper. She prefers The Stars Whispered. Thoughts?

Help a Girl Out, Will You?

I need your help.
After 5 years of writing, rewriting, editing and revising, this is what my office should look like. Thank heavens for computers. And even after 5 years of being so intimate with my story, it still does not have a title. That's where you come in.

I just sent my edited manuscript, pitch, and query to an agent. She requested a “full” when I pitched my book to her at the Storymakers conference last May, meaning she wants to read the whole darn thing! I’m not expecting miracles, and I’ve thickened my dragon skin, but you never know. To celebrate I’m asking family, friends, and readers who see this post to help me come up with a title. I know, right? I haven’t found a title that I want to wrap my arms around yet. Here are a couple that I’ve bounced around: Renegade Princess and Princess Defiant. I want something more like Warbreakers, but Brandon Sanderson beat me to it.
Here’s the pitch. Let me know what comes to mind in comments. This is not a contest, just hoping yo…


I hired an editor in the spring, knowing my work in progress had gone way overboard. I wasn't particularly worried about the writing, but I knew the story needed some guidance. I've realized lately that there is much more to writing a novel than the putting the words down. It's almost as if typing the words is the easy part. I've got to learn how to become a better storyteller. I parsed and cut from my MS of 131,000+ words down to 109,090. That's a difference of 21,010. My goal was to get to 110,000 or less. It's been a labor of love. Still can't believe I DID IT!!!

Now to tighten up the beginning, including a stronger inciting incident. Pretty sure I've rocked the last chapter. It's been a bear to tie all the story ends up in a nice little bow.

I'm prepping to send my full MS to an interested agent, so this is quite exciting. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

I'm So Close!

For the first editing run through, I am down 19,018 words!!! That's 66 pages, peeps. I've almost made my goal, only 2,000 more to go, maybe more depending on how the story develops. I've got to tighten up the beginning and embellish the ending. I'm getting so close to sending this to an interested agent. So stoked!

Lovin' Summer

Went to see Boston at Usana last Saturday night. Perfect night for a concert with these two boys of mine. If Paul McCartney is a rock-n-roll god (we think so;), then Dennis DeYoung, opening act for Boston (former lead singer for Styx) is a demi god. I thought my boy in the middle might cry tears of joy when he walked on the stage.

Yes, I'm Doing a Hack Job

While I'm hanging out with BOTH sons for the summer, traveling, gardening, boating, hiking, I'm also editing my book. I am down 12,427 words in 17 chapters. I thought I would be closer to 20,000 down that at this point, but there are still a lot of chapters and many more opportunities to hack away. It's amazing how you feel at first; you could never cut a single thing, it's all important. But then you get going and you're like, "You're going down!" Lol! Happy Summer, everyone!


Okay, this whole editing thing is killer! I've cut 5,000 words in 8 chapters so far. If I continue at that pace, I might reach my goal of cutting 20,000 out of 30 chapters. Way harder than I thought. Oh, and I've rewritten the beginning for the 5th time. How ironic is it that I like it better than any of the others? Never thought that would happen!

I'm Back and Ready to Get Going!

Oh, how I've missed this story of mine! Between helping my sons with some of the biggest adventures of their lives (and a bit of travel), I've not been able to pay much attention to my book baby. Now I'm back and feeling quite daunted (gotta rewrite the beginning again--ugh!!!), but I'm ready to tackle this thing.

Book Baby

I accidentally deleted this post. Why??? It shows progress. There's more coming!

Here's my book baby. Over two inches thick and about 30,000 words too long. My editor suggested a stronger inciting incident at the beginning and a bigger punch at the end. I printed it out because I felt my inner English teacher taking over, red pen hovering. I need to read all the chapters together instead of separately, and make my own notes in the margins before I actually edit. I promised an agent I'd have it ready for her this summer. Wish me luck!!!

Busy, Busy!!!

So much has been happening!
Here's the the update: I've hired an editor who has been working on my book while I've been overwhelmed with some huge projects.

I haven't been able to write a word for almost a month. Whoa!
Good excuses. Worked on Mary Poppins with one son and got another son home. BIG time for our family, and I wouldn't have missed working on these projects for the world. I'm so grateful for the opportunities. Hopefully, I can spend more time with my story soon. I miss it.

*Shrugs* Life of a writer:)


I know some readers hate them, but in this case, I really think it works.

I finished writing chapter 15 of my sequel and ended on a cliffhanger. I had my son read it because there was a lot of action and I wanted to make sure it worked on a guy level and he said, 
"So, how's your hero gonna get out of that?" 
Oh, I've chosen an editor for my first book, someone who I'm confident understands my story and my writing style and who will bring many good suggestions to the table. I really want this book of mine to shine. I'm really thinking this thing will finally be ready this year.

Volunteering is Good for the Soul

I've spent the last 20 years volunteering in our public schools. It's one of the things in my life that I do not look back on with regret, not one bit. It has been time well spent because I wanted to help my kids. Once I got into it, I realized I wanted to help as many kids as possible, not just mine. 

I really thought I'd be the soccer mom, but it turned out that my sons had different talents and different interests and ended up being choir/musical theater geeks. Twice a year, I've spent a good amount of time being one of many in our parent army that helps produce very big musicals at the local high school. I'll admit to being biased, but I'm not lying AT ALL when I say these shows on the high school level are really more like watching college level productions. We are fortunate to have a great director, really talented set designers, lighting designers, costumers and choreographers who love working with her, and kids in this area who are super talented. There …

A Baby?

Yes, a baby!
I just finished writing a chapter and it's made me giddy. There's a baby in the sequel. I wasn't sure if I was going to do it, but there is a lot of travail for my characters, so this felt like the right move. A little dollop of happiness and it's going to make one of my characters do some reeling. That'll be fun to write. I know, I'm evil;)

Fight Scenes!

I was stumped this afternoon trying figure out how to finish a chapter. Epic son comes home from school, I ask him about his favorite fight scenes, we even go through the moves of how a princess might escape a choke-hold, and voila! Chapter ends with almost as much epicness as my son. Thanks boyo!

Here's his suggestion. We watch Arrow together, so no surprise on which one he picked;)

I'm Sad to Hear This

We don't think of 69 as old anymore. I guess that's why it was such a shock to hear of Alan Rickman's passing. He made such great contributions to the world through his acting, and had that amazingly singular voice. I don't believe we'll hear another like it ever. What I admire more about him is love of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. I feel the same way--Always.


I found a new pic for my header and I love it! 
There's something romantic about winter when snow is falling softly.
(And when it's not being a blizzard or freezing rain or ice cold wind--tee hee--okay, okay, there are plenty of things not to love about winter. My sister, who wants to move back to Florida, will finally tell me she's won the argument simply because I admitted it;) 

This pretty new picture reminds me of my book and my princess and how important it is for me to be brave and start looking for agents. It's made the rounds through critique partners and beta readers and I think we are finally close. That's one of the BIG things I've got going, so wish me luck!

I’ve got a big year ahead and it kind of scares me. The last two have really thrown me for a loop and I know I have not completely recovered from the surgeries, don’t know if I have will have the stamina to tackle what’s coming head on. I recently read the parable of The Owl Express. In a raging sno…