Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today's my birthday! Unfortunately I have to work all day (boo), but we'll have my pick of dinner (chicken veggie stir fry), cake and ice cream (german chocolate with cream cheese frosting), and presents after dinner. We'll probably play silly party games, too, like pin the tail on the donkey, but it's all fun.
And Sunday we're going to see "The Lightning Thief." I'm looking forward to it since I completely devoured all five books in a week! (they were pretty awesome).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Truth of the Matter

This is my completion of the previous post wherein I listed six lies and one truth about myself in response to having received the big fat liar/creative writer award. I have retyped my list below with explanations.

1. I speak three languages.

Unfortunately, no. I speak English fluently and only enough Spanish and French to get myself in trouble.

2. I have a pilot's license.

Nope, but that would be awesomely fun.

3. I'm a twin.

No, but people used to mistake me and my sister for twins!

4. I'm deaf in one ear.

Perfect hearing! But when I was very young I had horrible ear infections and tubes lots of times, and the docs warned my parents that I might lose my hearing.

5. I'm afraid of balloons.

There's no logical explanation for this, but I am terrified of balloons!

6. I have a bachelor's degree in history.

My bachelor's degree is in English, though I'd love to study history. I find it fascinating.

7. I've competed on the women's pro-bowling tour.

Not even close. I used to bowl leagues, and I bowled pretty well, but not well enough to compete on the tour. Plus, in the last few years due to certain events I've developed a distinct aversion to bowling. Curious? Well, you'll just have to wait for the movie...that's what my screenplay is about.

I had a lot of fun doing this and then visiting the blogs of others who have!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Creative Writing Blog Award

So the title is a little misleading. It's more like creative license blog award. Okay, so it's the bold face liar creative writer award. But hey, I'm game.

The rules are:

1. Thanks the person who gave you this award (thank you Courtney!!)
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog (see below)
3. Link to the person who nominated you (see #1)
4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself and at least one outrageous truth.
5. Nominate 7 creative writers who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate (see below).
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.

Here are my lies and truth...can you guess which is the truth (I'll let you know in my next post)?

1. I speak three languages.
2. I have a pilot's license.
3. I'm a twin.
4. I'm deaf in one ear.
5. I'm afraid of balloons.
6. I have a bachelor's degree in history.
7. I've competed on the women's pro-bowling tour.

I'm passing this award on to:

2. Lynnette over at Chatterbox Chit Chat
3. Cheryl over at Cheryl de los Reyes Cruz
4. Frankie over at Frankie Writes
5. Jenni over at Jenni James
7. Katie at Step I: Write, Edit, and Revise

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Torn Between Two Lovers

I've been working on book two of my romance trilogy for a while now and I'm down to the last couple of chapters, but all of a sudden I've hit a wall. It's not that I'm out of love with my characters because I'm not...I adore them desperately. It's just that I can't figure out how to finish this book. The denouement is eluding me. I know what needs to happen, just not how it will.

Enter the bright shiny new idea. Now, Frankie was talking about this the other day at her blog, Frankie Writes. But my shiny new idea reared its (not so) ugly head before I read her blog, she just solidified my angst over it.

Mind you, I'm just now trying to finish book two of a trilogy. I still have to edit books one and two and write book three. This is no time for a new love affair. Up til now I've been a nose-to-the-grindstone writer. I've got a goal and purpose and I've worked hard to always move forward toward reaching it. I love my characters and I'm committed to the story.

But, oh my god, this new idea is so sexy. I've made some notes about it so I won't forget it, but it's teasing me. Flirting with me. So now my trouble with finishing book two has only multiplied.

On top of all that a couple of the characters in the trilogy are whispering to me that they think instead of being a romance they should be a YA novel. Maybe a YA romance. I'm not fond of that plan. That doubt coupled with my inability to just ride the wave and finish off the second book is making it easy to be distracted by the new idea. And paying attention to it only solidifies the characters, makes them evolve from shadowy what-ifs into fully developed characters with back story and everything.

What am I supposed to do with these people? They need to butt out and let me finish what I started. Is it possible to work on two projects at once? I mean, really, I've got enough on my plate already. Seriously. I do not have space in my life for another novel.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

One Act Down, Two To Go

I am so relieved to report that I have finished the rewrite of Act I of my screenplay, so I can now move on to Act II.

I have fussed over Act I for a while now and I think I've been getting on my MFA mentor's nerves. He wanted me to just move on to Act II already. But Act I just didn't feel right to me. So after a serious brainstorming session with Hubby, we decided to start over from square one. This rewrite was a complete redo, not some editing and revision. We scrapped Act I completely and started from scratch. And now the first draft of the new Act I is done. Whew!

So, now I'm moving on to the heart of the film, Act II. I've got it outlined in detail so it should be fairly easy to get it down on paper.

While we're talking about screenplays, I'm thinking about partipating in Script Frenzy this April. It's the screenplay writing version of NaNoWriMo wherein you have 30 days to write a 100 page script. I managed to "win" NaNoWriMo in November, though I have no idea where I found the time, so I'm contemplating participating in Script Frenzy. Because, you know, working full time, being a full time graduate student, working on one screenplay, and trying to finish a novel plus edit another novel, it's just not enough for me. NaNo was such an awesome experience I'm game for another.

I guess I'm just a sucker for punishment.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love At First Sight Blogfest

Yay! It's finally here...the Love At First Sight Blogfest has arrived!

And of course I'm late for the party. I stayed up too late last night reading and then slept in this morning, so I'm late getting my scene posted. But here it is!

A little background: This is a scene from the first novel in my paranormal romance trilogy. Shadow is fae and Holly has only just recently discovered that although her mother is human, her father was fae. In this scene she has just learned how to transform herself into fae form with Shadow's help and this is their immediate response to her transformation.

She heard Shadow’s voice calling her, but couldn’t see him. She realized with a jolt of both fear and satisfaction, that she’d done it. She’d transformed herself. The next instant the sensory overload hit her. The noise was overwhelming, as were the smells, and her vision seemed to be impaired because everything seemed brighter, sharper, more detailed – more alive. She could see shimmering shadows and vague auras glimmering around everything. She was staggered to realize that plain old grass came to her neck, and the log which she could just a moment ago easily step over, now towered over her as a nearly insurmountable obstacle. The perspective of everyday things was suddenly completely skewed and had her staggering. She leaned over getting ready to vomit from the flood of sensory input, when she felt a hand on her back.

“Wow, that was awesome! You did it, Holly. I guess you were right, you are a good student!”

Shadow seemed giddy with excitement, a state Holly had never imagined him capable of, while she was still woozy. She looked up at him in order to express her misery, but before she could utter a word their eyes met and she was struck dumb. The perspective was completely different. Whereas before he had been a tiny little faery and Holly had seen no gender about him, now he stood taller than her and she could feel the male energy pouring off him. His eyes were a deep and glittering amethyst, his warm brown hair curled in waves just below the nape of his neck and tucked behind his ears, a wisp dangling over his forehead. His nose and mouth were strong and firm, and the rest of him was slim, lean and muscled in ways she hadn’t seen before. How could she have missed all that? She felt like she’d been struck by lightning. The power of it literally put her to the ground, landing her on her butt with an “oof,” unable to clearly identify this feeling.

She could see he was just as shocked. His brows shot up and his jaw fell open, and he staggered back to lean against the log as if Holly were infected with a ghastly plague he needed to escape before he was contaminated. It was at that moment that Willow showed up.
“Hey Shadow, how’s the training going? Oh, Holly! You did it!"

Shadow didn’t say a word but took off and disappeared without looking back. Holly didn’t think she would ever understand him.

“What was that all about?” Willow asked as she watched him leave.

“I have no idea. One minute I thought I was going to puke and he was standing right next to me, the next minute I looked up at him and he practically ran away like I was the devil himself.”

“Really? That’s not like him. I mean, sure, he can be moody, but he doesn’t panic easily. You just looked at him and he freaked out?”

“Well, I can’t speak for him, but when I looked at him it was like someone hit me with a brick. But my senses are all crazy right now. This whole faerie thing is a real overload for the senses.”

"So when you looked at each other, it was powerful? It was shocking?”

"Yeah, you could say that.”

“But you don’t feel that looking at me, right?”

“No. But I think I’m starting to adjust.”

“Hmmm. Interesting.” She had an amazed grin on her face.


“Nothing. Nevermind. I’m sure it was just the shock to your system from changing.”
Willow giggled. “Before we go anywhere though, we should probably get you some kind of clothes. Don’t you think?”

“What?” Holly looked down and realized she was as naked as the day she was born. She could feel the blush explode on her face and she imagined her cheeks were cherry red. No wonder Shadow had seemed so shocked. Willow giggled again and took her hand.

“C’mon, don’t worry about it. We’ll find you something nice to wear.”


Shadow had to get away, he needed to breathe. He couldn’t believe what had just happened. It couldn’t be true. It just couldn’t. He’d been so excited when Holly had shifted, but when she’d looked him in the eyes, he’d gone weak in the knees. Her eyes were the color of sage shot throughout with molten copper. Her hair was black as coal, sexy short and unruly. He could imagine jamming his fingers into it while kissing her. He remembered with no small satisfaction that he had been right, he was taller than her after she’s shifted. It made him feel a sudden urge to hold her close and protect her from the vague unknown. And from Rand. He also remembered how naked she’d been and how full her breasts were and how her waist narrowed then flared again into generous hips and slim legs.

“Oh, Mother,” he groaned trying to wipe her image from his mind without much success. He was flying just to fly. He didn’t know where he was going, he just needed to get as far away from her as possible. But no matter how much distance he put between them, he could still feel her. He’d felt the jolt. Felt the shock and felt the way Fate had branded her as his. He had no doubt that it was some huge cosmic joke at his expense, but there it was just the same. He could no more deny it than he could stop breathing. Even now he could feel the connection, as much as he wished it weren’t there. And from the look on her face he could tell she’d felt it too. He was just glad she had no idea what it was.

So there you have it. Probably not what you were expecting for love at first sight, but certainly my interpretation of it for these two characters!

No, go read the rest of the love at first sight scenes! Check out Courtney's blog for the links. And Happy Valentines Day!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


This is your last reminder for the Love at First Sight Blogfest which will take place tomorrow, Valentine's Day!

Writers (or nonwriters...or anyone!) this is for you!

1. Go to Courtney's blog and sign up in Mr. Linky.
2. Tomorrow, post a love-at-first-sight scene on your blog from a WIP, a published work, or something you scribble down just for this amazing event!
3. Spend the day touring everyone's blogs and reading their awesome love-at-first-sight scenes.

It's gonna be loads of fun and you don't want to miss out!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Overhaulin' and an Award

Many of you know, if you read my blog, that I'm writing a screenplay as my MFA thesis. I was working on it yesterday and struggling to make scenes fit and I finally just said to myself, "this sucks." Because it did. I was trying to force scenes to work where they just didn't. Act I was pushing 40 pages, which is too long.

So I sat down with Hubby, who is the "Idea Man" and a really great brainstorming partner, and we hammered out a much, much better Act I, which will blend (hopefully) seamlessly into Act II, so now the film will have a smooth feel throughout.

Of course this means I have to completely scrap 40 pages and start again from scratch. I can hear my mentor tearing his hair out from here. We've already been going round and round because I was fussing over Act I and he kept telling me to move on to Act II and deal with Act I later. Now I want to rewrite the whole thing. He's gonna think I'm insane. But hey, as an artist, isn't it one of my prerogatives to scrap it all and start over for the sake of making better art?

The upside is that now I have much more confidence in the story and I'm not afraid of it anymore. In fact, I've already got 7 new pages written. Yay!

I also got a Picasso award today from Kelly over at Rants, Observations and Other Remarks. It's one I've already gratefully received, but that doesn't mean I'm any less grateful to have received it again from Miss Kelly. So, thank you Kelly! I'm not entirely sure what the conditions of this award are, but it looks like she listed 7 interesting tidbits about herself then passed it on to 7 other people. Since I already received this award once I've already subjected you to 7 tidbits about myself, and as always when I receive an award I can never single out 7 other people to pass the award to because I like everyone's blogs so much I can't decide. So everyone, please feel free to snag the award and paste it on your blog...because you're all worth it!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Avatar - A Review

I finally went to see Avatar, the movie. My husband and kids had seen it while I was at my MFA residency and Hubby has been begging me to go see it with him ever since. I had no burning desire to see it, and I'm pretty busy, so I didn't actually get around to it until yesterday.

Now, if you haven't seen it you might not want to read ahead. I'm not going to give away any plot or story line, but you may not want someone else's opinion of the film influencing your viewing.

That being said, I wasn't overly crazy about it. Of course the visual effects are ah-MAY-zing. Seriously. I was totally engrossed in the beauty of it, and the 3-D wasn't stuff-popping-in-your-face 3-D. Honestly, after a few initial gratuitously jump-out 3-D effects I really forgot it was 3-D and just enjoyed the depth the effects added to the story.

Speaking of so hot. Actually, it's not that the story wasn't great, it was just an old and oft-repeated story. In fact, it really reminded me of the Disney version of Pocahantes but with lots of splashy effects. That's not to say that it was bad per se, just predictable and kind of tired and already done.

The bad guy was just too over-the-top comic book which made him one-dimentional and I had a hard time hating him. He was just such a charicature that there wasn't any payoff when he finally died. It was just kind of ho-hum. And I got pretty dang tired of being battered about the head by the "morals" of the story. At some point I wanted to scream "Okay, I get it already! Back off! You're preaching to the choir!"

As we were driving home in the car, a 25 mile drive, Hubby asked me what I thought. He and the kids loved it a lot. Unfortunately, the MFA student in me began deconstructing the story and picking it to bits. I'm apparently ruined now by my education because I really just irritated Hubby. But I can't help it!

Anyway, if you haven't seen it, I say you should still go if for no other reason than to enjoy the sheer beauty of it. It's worth it solely for that reason. Just take the story with a grain of salt.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Distracted by Editing

Today I was going to work on my screenplay, but I got distracted by editing book one of my romance trilogy. I also went grocery shopping, but that's not very interesting.

I've been pushing for forward writing motion for so long now, telling myself that once I get book two written I'd go back and start the editing process on book one. But I joined this awesome online critique group, Critique This, and I've been sending chapters of book one for them to critique, which has forced me to go back and reread book one a chapter at a time. Today, however, I've reread several chapters and I find that I'm quite surprised.

They say that once you finish writing something you should put it aside for a while before you go back to it. As it turns out, my mission for forward motion in book two has been so intense that I've completely forgotten some of the story I wrote in book one! Anybody else every do that? I've written so many words, pages, chapters that I'm not surprised I can't remember some of it. I clearly need to sit down and keep a list of threads that need to be continued throughout the trilogy...stuff like some of my characters' personality traits, some backstory I'd seeded early on, that kind of stuff.

The thing that makes me happiest is that so far on this read-through, the story is hanging together pretty well. Of course it still needs lots of work and polish, and thanks to my awesome crit group I'm getting lots of suggestions how to do that. But at least it reads fairly well and hasn't fallen apart yet. I'll reserve final judgement until the crit group has read the whole thing and I can get started on the nitty gritty of revisions and editing.

In the meantime, however, I really do need to finish the first draft of book two. I'm very, very close to being done. I just need to finish the climactic battle, reunite the main characters, and set up book a handful of chapters at most.

Tomorrow, though, I really do need to gets some pages done on the screenplay before I do any other writing. I made a promise to my mentor I'd send him 5 pages per week, so tomorrow's the day I need to pony up this week's 5 pages.