Friday, 24 December 2010

Are You Hanging Up Your Stocking On The Wall?

It's Christmas Eve!

You know what that means?
funny pictures
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

I know there are lots of bloggers taking breaks now, but I just want to wish everyone Merry Christmas.

I'll be back on Monday the 3rd of January.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Is Like Writing. Writing Is Like Christmas

It's Wednesday. Yay!

There are only three days left until Christmas.

The whole preparation for Christmas is like writing. December arrives. You write down the gifts/food to buy. You plan your time for shopping. At the shops the next few hours are spent battling others for the last 'it' gift of the year. You trudge home with the bags and realise there are more things to get. The shopping battle resumes another day. You rest. Then comes the day when the shopping is done and the wrapping begins...

The day arrives. We celebrate. We eat. We relax. And do it all again next year.

In writing we do the same thing. We write down our idea. If you're a planner, you might spend some time outlining.  You open the word document. You spend hours typing, battling with your characters. You agonise over word choices. You rest. The writing resumes the next day. And the next. The cycle is repeated until the first draft is complete. Then the editing begins...

The day arrives when we're finished. We celebrate. We eat. We relax. And do it all again on the next wip.

Just like Christmas.

I'm also blogging over on Operation Awesome today. Gonzo and Rizzo are heading over there now. Feel free to stop by.

                                                                                            (Image: Fanpop.com)

And a big thank you to everyone who stopped by to comment on the Be Jolly By Jolly blog fest on Monday. I loved seeing all the holiday decorations (and drooling over those yummy recipes). I'll be working my way through the comments later today.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Blog Fest: Be Jolly By Golly

It's the week of Christmas. What better way to celebrate than with some festive blog fest fun. Organised by the awesome Jen and Melissa.




1.Blog Post to be posted on December 20th (whatever time you desire)
2.Show pictures of your decorations, holiday lights & Christmas tree!
3.Share your favorite treat (Recipe included, chance for others to steal the yumminess!)
4.Share your favorite drink (Recipe included, chance for others to steal the alcohol – or non)
Christmas tree!
5.Last but not least… visit others!!! Take part in their holiday cheer! (Linky list)

Two things let me know Christmas is almost here. The first is getting an advent calender. Chocolate for counting down days till Christmas = Best. Invention. Ever!
The second is the tree.

I like cake. You know I like cake. So one of my favourite treats is yule log.


(Picture from indyweek.com )

It's cake and chocolate in one yummy package. That counts as a double win for me.

Ingredients:

Butter and greaseproof paper
6 eggs, separated
150g caster sugar
50g cocoa (choose a good cocoa such as Green & Black’s)
Zest of one large orange
125g dark chocolate
185g icing sugar, sifted
165g butter, at room temperature
Juice of one large orange


Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a Swiss Roll tin (about A4 size) with greaseproof paper. Butter the paper and then sprinkle lightly with cocoa.


Put the egg whites into a food processor or large bowl and whisk to soft peaks. Add 50g (about 2tbsp) of the caster sugar and whisk again until the egg whites are quite stiff. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the orange zest and remaining sugar until they are light and the whisk leaves a trail. Sift over the cocoa and stir it in gently (the mixture will look a bit claggy but don’t worry, it comes together).


Put a spoonful of egg white into the yolk mixture and stir it in gently. Then add the remaining white in three additions – fold very gently, so you don’t lose any air. Pour and spoon the mixture into the lined tin and, when the oven is heated, put in for 20 minutes.


Now rinse out the food processor bowl (or clean the whisking blades) and sift in the icing sugar. Add the butter and beat for a few minutes, until soft and creamed. Add the orange juice and whisk again.


Weigh the chocolate into an ovenproof bowl. When the roulade comes out of the oven, switch off the oven and put in the chocolate for a minute or two to melt. Turn the roulade onto a rolling board and peel off the parchment. Retrieve the melted chocolate and add it to the butter mixture, then pulse until well combined. Spread a thin layer of the icing onto the roulade and, while it’s still warm, roll it up to make a log shape.


Put the log, seam-side down, onto a serving plate. Leave it to cool for a few more minutes, then cut off one end and arrange it as a branch. Cover the log with icing, rippling with the end of a knife for a log effect. (From Cake Baker UK)

I'm not a huge drinker. Most of the time I stick to soft drinks, but one of the drinks I remember helping my granddad make for my relatives as a child was a Snowball.
Ingredients:
1 shot of Advocaat. Fill glass with sparkling Lemonade. Add a shot of Advocaat to the glass and top up with sparkling lemonade. Add a 1/4 shot of lime cordial and mix. Easy!

And Christmas at my house wouldn't be Christmas without the festive TV tradition... the annual Doctor Who Christmas Special!

What about you? Any traditions you share over the festive period?

Friday, 17 December 2010

Cakes, Interviews And Winners

Yay it's Friday.

First up is an Operation Awesome announcement:

You may have heard of Leah Clifford. Not only is Leah one of the awesome YA Rebels, but she is the author of the forthcoming A Touch Mortal.



Here's the Goodreads blurb:

Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.
Yeah.
So long happily-ever-after.
Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.
She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.
And that’s only the beginning of the end

Leah is going to be a guest on Operation Awesome this Sunday (19th) in a fab Q&A session. So stop by and write you question for Leah in the comments. She'll be popping in through the day to answer them.

Now the Matched contest results.

A huge thank you to everyone who entered. I wish I'd more copies/money to make everybody a winner, but I hope to have more contests next year.

Enough stalling, time for the winners.

Regina and Falen (Sarah Ahiers).

Congratulations to you both. There should be an email from me (asking for you shipping address) waiting in your inbox.




Now for something sweet.

Knowing how much everyone loves a bit of cake (and judging by the requests for a photo, we all share that sweet tooth), I present the goddaughter's Mickey Mouse birthday cake:


I did nibble on a few of the cuttings after carving, but what's a girl to do when she put chocolate chips in the batter?

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A Few Things...

Today I'm waiting for the first stage of the goddaughter's Mickey Mouse cake to bake. The face is ready, but the ears are still in the oven. Then I shall construct his face with icing. Yes, my life is weird. :)

First. Today is the last day to enter my contest to win a UK paperback copy of Matched by Ally Condie. And, because it is almost Christmas (and I'm feeling festive), I have decided to give away 2 copies. Yep. Two. So add your name/email address to the Matched contest comments if you'd like to be in the draw.

Second. Apologies if I haven't visited your blog this week. With  hecticness and my Internet connection being a bit of a pain. Fingers crossed that life has slowed/Internet is sorted now. I missed you all.

Third. I'm over on Operation Awesome today. Feel free to pop over and say hi.

So, how are you?

Monday, 13 December 2010

Sleep Brain!

Life as a writer is never easy. This is especially true when you have been doing a heavy editing/writing session and you can't switch off. I get those nights every once in a while. I'll show you...

I've been tapping away on my edits, but now I need to sleep. My eyes are drooping. I turn off my laptop, put away my hard copy streaked with red pen, and settle down for the night:

I'm in my PJ's. I'm warm under the covers. I've got in a comfy position. I'm all set for the sleep train to take me to dreamland, but my MC's have other ideas -- they want to chat. Add that scene in that I left mid-point to start back on tomorrow. They. Just. Won't. Shut. Up. So  I can guarantee I'm be like this an hour later:

I figure the best thing to do in this situation is to give in for a bit. I'll write the idea/dialogue/scene in my notebook. I also may pop on Twitter, get a drink, watch some mind-numbing TV. That should do it, right? 


My brain does this:
My brain thinks it's still party time. It keeps going with ideas and non-thoughts (these are my no specific topic thoughts) that keep me awake.



I do drop off in the end but, as is always the case, I never know when this is. :)

So does anyone else get this while in the middle of revisions/writing?

*pictures from Hyperbole and a Half

Friday, 10 December 2010

Edits And Awesome

Yay it's Friday.

To celebrate the closeness of the weekend, I have some little links to spread around the blogosphere.

1. Today is Mystery Agent reveal day over on Operation Awesome. I feel like a secret Santa today (but a girl version... with prettier shoes). As well as the name of the winner of a full MS submission, we also have some other exciting news for the entrants. So feel free to hop over and check it out.
Couldn't enter this time? Not your genre? Don't despair. We are hard at work lining up some more awesome agents for next year.

2. Sticking with the awesome vibe, Katrina is holding a New Year's Revision blog party. Want to join in the fun? Pop over and add your blog to the Mr. Linky.

2. Beth Revis is holding the epic of epic contests to celebrate her debut novel, Across The Universe. I'm talking bookmarks, ARC's, watches... it is serious epicness.

3. The wonderful, soon to be published, Jessica Bell is spreading her editing awesome across the blogosphere. Is your MS is ready to send to agent? Want some professional editing before you send it? Jessica has two packages to offer you:

Copyediting, basic: 0.015 USD (or 0.013 Euro) per words in your manuscript. This includes:


•Grammar
•Spelling
•Capitalization
•Punctuation
•Usage
•Flagging repeated words and/or phrases
•Some formatting

Copyediting, heavy: 0.02 USD (or 0.018 Euro) per words in your manuscript. In addition to above, this includes:

•Wordiness, awkwardness
•Redundancy
•Transitions
•Paragraphing
•Word, phrase, and sentence flow
•Consistency of names, setting, character traits, plot points

P.S. If you'd like to enter for the chance to win a UK paperback of Matched by Ally Condie, my contest is still open until the 15th of December.

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Books: The New Fitness Craze?

Imagine the scene. You are watching TV when you see an infomercial for the latest fitness craze...

Want to tone up for the holiday season?

Tired of costly gym memberships you'll never use?

Want a workout that's fun, easy and costs nothing?

You need BOOKWEIGHTS!

Bookweights is the revolutionary new workout sweeping the writing community. What do you need? Two books of similar size and weight.

But how does the system work? Let me break it down for you:

1. Hold a book in each hand.
2. Inhale.
3. Exhale and lift your arms over your head.
4. Inhale and lower.
5. Repeat until you have performed the desired number of reps.



Reached a plateau? Then beef up the size of your bookweight. The dictionary and thesaurus combination works well. There's also the added bonus of learning new words when you rest between sets. 

You build up the body. You build up the mind.
But wait. Join up today and you can work your abs as well for no extra cost. Simply pile up some books, lay on the floor, rest your feet on them and crunch your way to your dream abs.

And the cost? It won't cost you anymore than your trip to the bookstore. :)

Don't forget to check out my new contest to win a UK copy of Matched by Ally Condie. It's open until the 15th of December.

Small Print: Bookweights are not suitable for novella's, picture books or short story collections. 

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Contest: Will You Be Matched?

So I ended up with two copies of this book:



The copy is the UK paperback edition (with different cover to the US hardback above). Take a peek:




On her seventeenth birthday, Cassia meets her Match. Society dictates he is her perfect partner for life. Except he’s not. In Cassia’s society, Officials decide who people love. How many children they have. Where they work. When they die. But, as Cassia finds herself falling in love with another boy, she is determined to make some choices of her own. And that’s when her whole world begins to unravel... (Amazon summary)


And now I bring out the contest. I'm not one for fancy rules. Feel free to tweet/blog about it if you like, but no pressure. All you need to do is let me know you'd like to enter in the comment section (and leave me your email address). The contest will be open until Wednesday December 15th. Then I'll do the names in a hat dance.

P.S. I'm also posting over at Operation Awesome today. Feel free to pop by.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Cake Days

So I'm posting a smidgen later than usual today, but I promise I was being creative. How? I was baking.

Since both of my closest friends had their little ones in December (a week after each other!), the beginning of the month is spent looking for birthday presents and cake making.

The first birthday is on Friday. This year the niece asked for Pepper Pig. For those who haven't seen it, Pepper Pig is a UK cartoon aimed at toddlers where Pepper learns about different things (today was hiccups). It's very hard for me resist the niece. Heck, they both have me wrapped around their little fingers! So I spent two hours tonight decorating this:



Cake number two will be made next week for the goddaughter. Last year I made her Spongebob Squarepants. She got upset when I cut him. This year she's asked for Mickey Mouse. I predict tears when I slice into that one.

I love making and decorating cakes. For me it is like writing. I have all the ingredients that I bake till ready. Then I get to dress it up in icing and add trimmings. Just like I do when I write. Only I get to help eat the results of this creative endeavour. Good times!

And in other news my books and DVD came this afternoon. Happy times.

Monday, 6 December 2010

New Pretties!

So the snow pretty much nixed any post deliveries last week. I don't blame them, I wouldn't want to trudge through that lot with a sack. Only Santa suffers that fate each year. But it also meant that I didn't get my new book releases (and my Eclipse DVD, Grr.)

Here's what I'm waiting for:


 



The thaw has now set in (phew) so fingers crossed my pretties will be in my little hands soon.

How about you. What books are you waiting for/reading this week? 

Friday, 3 December 2010

Snow Joke!

This week has been spent snowed in. The snow I was so excited about at the beginning of the week turned into three feet of snow the day after. And it is still here!

So I treat you the view outside the lounge window onto my street.

Below we can see the next door neighbour has yet to clear off his car:


And directly outside my house is the dustbin waiting to be emptied. It is still there, still covered in snow. :)



Now I'm off to wrap up warm, drink another cup of tea and do some revisions until the thaw. I may be waiting all weekend.

So what are you up to this weekend?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Giving Back: Anonymous Critique

A few weeks ago, Shannon suggested a new feature for her blog in the form of an anonymous critique.

I'll let Shannon explain:

If you’ve ever handed your writing over to someone else, you know all about the horrid feeling that punches your gut and gnaws away at your confidence. You worry about character development, storyline, dialog, plot, premise, pacing, and so on.

Then, after you receive feedback, you wonder how honest your friends/family/beta readers were with their critique. Did they really like it? What would others, who don’t know me, think of my writing?

The Anonymous Critique is my solution to this quandary. I ease the anxiety of having others read your work by providing a cloak of anonymity on this blog.


Anyone can take part. Not ready to share your work? Then hop over and give back to the writing community by adding your feedback. So feel free to pop over and take a look.

It is the season of goodwill after all!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Blogsplash: The Hating Game

There may be an awesome themes around the blogosphere (and Twitter) today. Today is Talli Roland's blogsplash!

Here is the deal: Help Talli Roland's debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk by spreading the word today. Even a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon helps push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other readers.

Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com

No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more.



About THE HATING GAME:

When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?

Coming soon in paperback. Keep up with the latest at http://www.talliroland.com/.

Having had the privilege to read a preview of the book, I can say I haven't enjoyed a chick-lit/romance book so much since I first took a peek into Bridget Jones's Diary. So go on, pick up your copy today. :)

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Fun. Fun. Fun.

Britain may still be covered in a blanket of snow stopping the traffic, but tomorrow on the blogosphere will kick of December with a bang.

1) It is Mystery Agent contest day over on Operation Awesome. Polish those one-sentence pitches folks. The agent is, as always, awesomesauce.

2) Tomorrow is the eBook release of Talli Roland's THE HATING GAME. So join me tomorrow for the Taking on Amazon web splash. Together we can help rocket Talli's eBook up the Amazon sales ranks.

Now I'm off to have a nice cup of tea, read some blogs and post my review of The Hating Game on Amazon. Can I just write 'IT'S AWESOME' 200 times?

Monday, 29 November 2010

Snow Day

The UK has snow.

I know this isn't something I shouldn't be getting excited over. Snow is a pain in the bottom to drive in. It comes with a side order of ice and frost. It has an annoying way of soaking up the hem of your jeans without you noticing until you sit down (and tuck your leg under your bum).

Did I mention that it's cold.

So there are lots of reasons to hate snow, but I love it (minus the driving in it part). There comes a day when you just need to embrace the small child inside you and go build a snowman.

I kind of see snow like writing. The blank word document/snow covered field waits for me to write/step my mark on it. Anything is possible where the surface is fresh, the idea is forming and the creativity hits. I don't know about you, but I find there is something very satisfying about making the first footprint/word on an untrodden canvas.

So a word document is kind of like being the first to walk in a fresh snowfall. It's satisfying to be the first leave your mark on it. Mistakes can always be erased later by delete or a fresh snow fall.

Until then just enjoy playing in it.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Thanks-Give-Her

While we don't celebrate the day here in the UK, I figure I can still wish everyone who does a wonderful day. And, because I can, I wanted to take the time to give thanks to some wonderful people:

The Operation Awesome gang: Amparo, Katrina, Kristal, Michelle, Kelly and Angie.

The B.B.W (Best Beta in the World), Renae.

And the blogging community. That means YOU reading this (yes, I see you!). This journey is a million times better for travelling with all of you.

So I gobbled together a little picture:



HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Note: I don't think many of these delicious birds will be happy today. Mine is. Why is my turkey happy? Because the little guy (who I've named Colin) is British (naturally). This means he gets a reprieve until December 25th. I call the leg! Mwahahaha. 

Now I'm off to indulge in my edits. Enjoy the holiday and have a big slice of pie for me. :)

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Revision Face!

So I'm revising my 'scare me to death' wip. I've got seven chapters to finish until I'm done with the first pass. Woot. 

So I thought I'd share a bit about my revision technique. And, for the funny, I'm using the awesome pictures from hyperbole and a half to demonstrate!

Now I'm sick because I love, love, love revision (don't hate me, I'm only little.) I enjoy chopping into my sentences and making them shiny. The one thing I don't like is waking up (this probably explains why I write while sat on my bed. Hmm). So I may start my revision process like this:



But once I get into the swing of things:




I'm in my own little world. It's MY time. I lock myself in my bedroom like a teenage boy with a stash of... whatever teenage boys lock themselves in their rooms with these days. I only come up for air to either a) get a drink b) eat c) perform whatever cleanliness/hygiene related function is needed. I wield the red pen of doom/delete key on all who cross my path until stupid hours!





Sometimes I fall into my procrastination place:



Because there's always something fun happening on Twitter, the blogosphere or YouTube that I NEED to see. But I know this is no good for my MC, who I may have left dangling off some precipice to topple to her death (don't panic Amparo, she isn't really):



So I eat that last cookie, drink my tea and begin again:




And I repeat the cycle until all my pages are edited.

The I start round two.

So how do you edit? Got any fun revision tips/procrastination tools you'd like to share? :)

P.S. I'm also over at Operation Awesome today.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Critterpalooza!

Apologies for not being around much towards the end of the week (blame the awesomeness of Harry Potter, migraine and my edits).

We all know how awesome the writing community is. We support each other, cheer success and hug when it gets rocky. So when Angela Ackerman mentioned Critter, the unofficial mascot of the kidlit community, on the OA blog on friday, Katrina went deep undercover (okay, she did an interview really) to find out about critterpalooza.

Not only is Critter having fun adventures travelling the globe, he's also helping benefit St. Jude's Children's Hospital. For more details follow the link.

So tell me, what have you been up to this weekend?

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Half-Way Day

Yay it's Wednesday. It's also cold and getting dark early.

I don't know about you, but it makes me want to wrap up warm, watch the previous Harry Potter films (my The Deathly Hallows countdown for Friday) and eat cookies. I also want to attack my MS with the red pen of editing death and do some more plotting/writing on my wip, but that's a given. :)

But there's the slump of doubt that kicks in this time of year. Holidays are fast approaching along with the daily routine. It ends up feeling like there's so little to do and so much time... strike that, reverse it.

How to combat this? I would suggest copious amounts of cookies/chocolate or any other treat of choice. Also, pop over and see Elana.

Oh, I'm also posting over on Operation Awesome today. 

So what do you do to combat the winter slump?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Query Sushi.

Yesterday I had lunch at Yo! Sushi.

For anyone who hasn't been before the idea is you sit in front of a conveyor belt and choose what you like from a selection of dishes. Each dish is colour/price coded. And you can order off a menu if you want something in particular.



(Image: Voucher Mum)

So I'm sat watching all the yummy dishes going round, waiting to be chosen and enjoyed, and I realised that this is the same as querying.

I imagine an agent is pretty much sat at the table looking at all these dishes going around. We know they have a huge number to choose from depending on their preferences, but they only have a short moment to make up their mind before they pass. What they choose could be different on any given day.

Just like what you pick from the sushi bar.

Some days all you see are California roll/urban fantasy and you want Katsu curry/dystopian YA.

But the agent could still pick your California roll query out if it looks appetising.

The job of the chef/writer is to make our dish/query stand out from all the others on offer.

So next time that 'I'm afraid this isn't a good fit for me' email pings in your inbox it just means the agent wanted a different dish that day.

One day an agent will pick your yummy California Roll/query off the conveyor belt.

It's just a matter of appetite.

*No sushi was harmed during the writing of this post. It did make me hungry though. :)

Monday, 15 November 2010

It's Almost Time...

So release day is almost upon us. Release of what?

Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 1.

And I booked my ticket today. On Friday I'll be cinema bound (not for the midnight screening though, I'll be asleep) to see my first HP in the cinema.

Yes my first! I waited to see all the others until they were out on DVD, but I can't wait this time.  I need to go see it on the big screen.

There's also a bit of a theme around the blogosphere today with HP related posts. So, without further ado, here are links to some of my favourites.

Amparo, one of my awesome CP's, is hugging the world building of HP tight.

Renae, my fantastic beta (and excessive TBR book partner in crime), is taking part in a HP blogfest. Pop over to enjoy her daily fix of all things Potter this week.  Today she has awesome quotes.

Jen over at Unedited has a letter to J.K.Rowling.

Before I go, Laura Diamond has a fabulous guest post over on Operation Awesome on writers perseverance.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

I Knew Harry Potter Was Educational!

Yes, Harry Potter is a writing tool. Why? Well all I can say is check out Nathan Bransford's post on writing tips from reading Harry Potter.

Also today is my post day over on Operation Awesome. Feel free to pop by and say hi. Now I have to go and play, I mean write with the new Scrivener Beta edition for PC. If anyone uses Scrivener, please share your shortcut knowledge with me. I'm a newbie to it.

Finally I leave you with these thoughts. There are some things in life that puzzle me.

Why is it that when I spend an hour looking for something, I've been sat on it the entire time? Hello pen...my you're warm.

Why do ideas for scenes pop in your brain just before you are going to sleep or wake you up at 3am?

Can you answer my pondering? Any other thoughts you want to add to the list?

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

If I were...

I saw this on two of my CP's blogs and decided I wanted to play. The idea is just to fill the sentences in with the first thing that pops into your head. So here I go...

- If I were a season, I’d be Spring.

- If I were a month, I’d be May.
- If I were a day of the week, I’d be Friday.
- If I were a time of day, I’d be Midnight.
- If I were a planet, I’d be Venus.
- If I were a direction, I’d be North.
- If I were a tree, I’d be an oak.
- If I were a flower, I’d be a daisy.
- If I were a fruit, I’d be a banana.
- If I were a land animal, I’d be a rabbit.
- If I were a sea animal, I’d be a dolphin.
- If I were a bird, I’d be an swallow.
- If I were a piece of furniture, I’d be a bookcase.
- If I were a liquid, I’d be water.
- If I were a stone, I’d be an emerald.
- If I were a tool, I’d be a hammer.
- If I were a kind of weather, I’d be the snow.
- If I were a musical instrument, I’d be a guitar.
- If I were a colour, I’d be blue.
- If I were a facial expression, I’d be a smile.
- If I were an emotion, I’d be empathy.
- If I were a sound, I’d be a sigh.
- If I were an element, I’d be the wind.
- If I were a car, I’d be a Mini Cooper.
- If I were a food, I’d be spaghetti.
- If I were a place, I’d be Italy.
- If I were a flavor, I’d be mint.
- If I were a scent, I’d be jasmine.
- If I were an object, I’d be a pen.
- If I were a body part, I’d be an eye.
- If I were a song, I’d be "Starlight," by Muse.
- If I were a pair of shoes, I’d be sneakers.
- If I were transportation, I’d be a boat.
- If I were a fairy tale, I’d be The Little Mermaid.
- If I were a holiday, I’d be Christmas.
- If I were a novel, I'd be Pride and Prejudice.
- If I were a movie, I'd be The Princess Bride.

Oh, and check out Katrina and Kristal's choices.

Finally: I let out a huge squee when I read Jessica Bell's good news. Jessica is going to be published! Woot. I'm sure most of you know Jessica's news, but I had to add my squee to the list. Oh, and don't forget to enter her 400 follower contest  for a chance to win Amazon gift cards (or something Greek!). Deadline to enter is December 2nd.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Repetition Is Delicious

I love that toddlers are like human sponges. I also like that they are kind of repetitive when the talk, especially when they find a few words they like.

Some words I've heard on repeat last week:
Delicious. Wow (which said by a toddler with curly hair and big brown eyes is adorable). Gosh. Yay.
No. I'm ready (said as soon as she's in the car seat before I've clipped her in). No. Clever girl. No. Hot dog, hot dog hot diggity dog. Mickey Mouse.

And it's the same in writing (come on, you knew I was going somewhere didn't you!) We all have our crutch words, favourite descriptions and phrases (I myself am having an excess word vomit of 'skin,' 'lips' and 'mouth' at the moment). We pepper them into our manuscripts without thinking because they feel natural to us.

It's kind of like word poop, but repeated a few times a chapter.

There's nothing wrong with repeating words. Sometimes it is an effective tool, sometimes it's just a mistake or a habit -- like stuffing in that extra cookie in your mouth while watching TV, or eating the crusts you've cut off your goddaughter's sandwich (I really need to stop that habit, btw). But the best thing about being a writer is finding new ways to describe or write things. Like a toddler sponge in the quest for the new, next time I find myself going for the tried and tested crutch word I'm going to stop, think and write something else.

Oh, and even though I'm sure you know it already, here is somewhere I love to visit for inspiration: The Bookshelf Muse

Because learning something new is just as delicious.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Why Am I Talking About Poop?

This week think of me as the blogger answer to Where's Wally (or Waldo, I believe he's known as to my U.S. friends).

Today you can find me over at Operation Awesome. My topic?

Even famous writer's poop.

So please feel free to pop over and take a look. I really wanted to use poop over and take a look, but I changed my mind. Darn it, I used it anyway. hee hee. :)

Monday, 1 November 2010

Remember, Remember It's NaNo November

There's been something in the air this weekend...and I don't mean NaNo starting today.

Nope, I spent the weekend in bed with the stomach bug from hell. I've pondered the reasons for illness. Maybe it was over-excitement from the query chat, finishing my first draft or getting ready for my first NaNo. But I'm ready, rested-ish and (hopefully) excited to face the task of 50k in a month.

Can you hear my brains seeping out from my ears?

But today there is awesome abound. We have a Mystery Agent contest over at Operation Awesome and, get this, the agent accepts YA/MG and Adult fiction. So head on over and add your one-sentence pitch. There are fifty spots up for grabs and the winner gets to submit their full MS. In case you didn't know, one of the October entrants to the agent contest (who submitted thir query and first five) was offered representation by Mandy Hubbard. Woot!

Keep your eyes peeled for the tweet announcement when the post is live! Good luck.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Computer Fail, OA Chats and WIP Progress!

Is it Friday already?

I closed my little eyes at 4am this morning, but it was so worth it. Last night (or this morning for me) was the awesome query chat with Elana Johnson. The verdict? Woot.

We had questions galore, winners of critiques and a rather important discussion about Alexander Skarsgaard from True Blood (thoughts on that topic a) yum, b) Amparo, where are those pics?). Anyway, it wasn't without its disasters. Okay, my disaster.

Forty minutes before the chat started, my laptop decided it didn't want to play. Nothing loaded. I had no Internet access (apart from my phone) and everything shut down. After lots of eye rolls, reloading and "Crap, my CP's and Elana are gonna kill me" thoughts, I made it. Phew. For anyone who couldn't join us, or just wants to soak up the ninja's awesome advice, the transcript is available over on the OA blog.

Although, Kristal did mention my computer may have been protesting due to sheer exhaustion. Why? Last night I finished the first draft of my wip. Woot. Now it's time to revise, revise, revise and NaNo for book 2.

I might take a little nap first though. Oh, and if anyone can recommend a nice new laptop, I may be in the market soon enough!

Happy Friday everyone. :)

P.S. Amparo has an amazing guest post by Janice Hardy over on the OA blog today!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Writing, Writing, Writing...Ooh, Today's The Day

I've finally got the Hot Dog song out of my head from goddaughter sitting yesterday. Woot. So today I'm writing. Yes, I shall be in my happy space tapping on the keyboard. I've got blogs to read, a plot twist to finish, my ending to complete; I'm swamped.

Okay, I'm paraphrasing Prince Humperdinck from The Princess Bride there, but you get the idea. :)

One question though? Can you hear me squee? Yes, today is the Operation Awesome query chat with Elana Johnson. In case you need it, Kristal has posted a handy reminder form over on the OA blog. 

My love of spreading the awesome means I am to sacrifice my cookie/plot dreaming sleep to be awake at 2am. Fear not, I'm prepared. I've saved my writing procrastination episodes of this weeks The Vampire Diaries and Criminal Minds to keep me busy. Although you've seen where I write so I don't have to go far. I'll be the one moderating in my PJ's. I promise I'll brush my hair though. :)

There's also only three days to get your entry in for the beautiful UK edition white Twilight covers (bought and sent by yours truly). Contest closes at Midnight GMT.

And now other things.

Over the last month the goddaughter has started the copying phase. I rested my chin  on my hand, she did the same. I stood in the doorway...so did she (she even looked how my feet were positioned and did the same). If she had any sense she'd copy someone less of a klutz than her auntie, but I guess she's learning other actions. Other ways of expressing herself by watching me.

Then I realised that I do the same when I write. We all do.

We take our notebooks and jot down actions, moments and reactions we've seen and twist them to use for our own literary purposes. We magpie various tones of voice, facial gestures, traits and ticks for characters. We are the ultimate developing children who use our experiences to layer into our richly created worlds.

And that's got to help us learn to be better writers, right?

Hope to see you at the chat. :)

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Reminder

Two things today.

1) Today is my post day over on Operation Awesome. I'm talking about a write query process. Feel free to pop over and check it out. 

2) Tomorrow is the epic of epicness live query chat with Elana Johnson (and us OA girls). If you have some time, join us over on the OA blog at 9pm EST. We have copies of Elana's eBook as prizes and Elana is generously giving away three query critiques.

Happy Wednesday everyone.

P.S. Sorry if I don't get round to your blogs today, I've been on goddaughter duty. She doesn't let me use the computer in her presence. I have to play with toys and watch The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. lol.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

My Writing Process.

Yesterday I shared my bookcases with you. Today I thought I'd share something else. Yes, today I'm giving you a peek at my writing process.
And I'm including pictures!

Step one: Get my writing space ready.



Step 2: I need to have my essentials -- my wip playlist and snacks. I have a cup of tea as well.





Step 3: Think about writing by staring at the keyboard. Tapping my fingers is crucial during this. I like to think of it as limbering up.



Step 4: Procrastinate. Today was a Criminal Minds episode. Until Supernatural season 6 comes to the UK it's either Criminal Minds or The Vampire Diaries. How I love my Sky+ recorder.


Step 5: Write.

Sorry no photo. It's hard to write and take a photo and I forgot how to set the timer on the camera. LOL.

Step 6: Have a 'why did my character just do that?' moment.



Step 6: Delete the disaster from step 6.



Step 7: Nap time? No, I'm thinking about my scenes with my eyes closed for visualization.



Okay I was napping.

Step 8: Wake up/brainwave. Repeat step 5. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So that's my handy guide to writing. I missed out the drinking tea, eating cookies and toilet break photos. As much as I <3 you all, I think that would be sharing a little bit too much information. lol. But I hope I made you smile. :)

Monday, 25 October 2010

I Spy My Bookcases.

Last week I was happily bantering with one of my awesome beta's, the fantastic Renae, about the TBR pile and how we need to see photographs. Imagine the look on my face on Friday when she posted just how big is that TBR pile? 

Like Renae said on Friday, we have never said how many books are in the TBR pile. But since Renae came clean with her thirty four, it's now my turn.

I've mentioned I have a TBR bookcase. Oh, and said once or twice how I get the dad eye roll when a new book arrives in the mail (I have a love/love relationship with Amazon.com and The Book Depository, he has a 'where are you going to put those' relationship with it. hee hee). It also doesn't help that Katrina, one of my CP's, is my book enabler in crime. But hey, at least I don't have any habits that can land me in jail.

You can't get arrested for too many books can you?

Anyway, I present my bookcases.


As you can see these bookcases are kind of full. These are the shelves my friend, and mother of the goddaughter, refers to as her library. If you look close enough you can see the gorgeous UK white Twilight saga covers on the top of the smaller bookcase. (Which you can still enter to win at Operation Awesome.)



The white bookcase is a mix of read/reading and TBR books. It's depth means I can stack books two rows deep, so I fit more in.

"So how many are in the TBR section?" I counted them, I double checked and I have forty books waiting for my attention. Some of these were bought over the last few months. I would have read them by now, but in order to finish the wip by the end of this month I've put a pause on my reading. I can't tell you how much I'm itching to get reading these books now. It's a good thing I read quickly.

Okay, there you have it. So come on, how many books are on your TBR pile?

Friday, 22 October 2010

Awesome And Reminders.

When Operation Awesome launched we had an amazing one-sentence pitch contest. And I did a happy squee when I found out one of the entrants, Nancy Herman, has been offered representation with our September Mystery Agent, Mandy Hubbard.

For all the amazing info check out Katrina's post over on OA.

Oh, and polish those one-sentence pitches. You may need it sooner than you think. :)

And don't forget on Thursday the 28th of October is the frawesome query chat with Elana Johnson and all us OA gals.

Now I have to go finish my entry for Hannah's contest before midnight. Wish me creepy thoughts. :)

Happy Friday everyone. :)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Books. Books. Books: Well Hello My Pretties.

First, I'll be working my way through my inbox today to reply to comments from the last few days. The cold made a return over the last couple of days so I've been snuffling in bed. I blame the goddaughter. She got it back and re-germed me, but all seems clear this morning. :)

Second, a huge hello to my new followers. *waves* Nice to have you here on the journey.

You all know I love my books. I make no secret that I let out a huge squee of excitement when Atom Books said they were releasing a UK limited edition set of white Twilight covers.I got so excited I even ordered two sets to give away over at Operation Awesome. If you'd like to win a set feel free to pop over and enter before October 31st.

I'm not the only one excited by these covers. Myrna McEntire is as well.

Want to peek at the covers? Here's one of them:



Anyway, my lovelies arrived last week and are now living happy on my bookcase. I also just sent a set across to one of my amazing CP's, Katrina (a.k.a my book enabler).

I also took delivery of a pretty copy of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer! Unfortunately it came while I was out. When I got home my dear old Dad gave the the 'how many more books are you expecting' eye roll. So, for now, I've had to put a hold on ordering anymore books for myself this month. Sniff.

I guess I'll just have to start making a list of what I want to order now. Sorry Dad, the postman will be paying lots of visits to the door in November/December. hee hee.

What about you. Got any good books lately?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

CassaStar!

First I want to give a special birthday mention to Lenny Lee who turns eleven today.

A huge happy birthday Lenny!

And second. When I read that the awesome Alex J. Cavanaugh's CassaStar's book release was getting closer I knew I wanted to help spread the word. So, with my happy dance remaining between myself and the laptop, I present CassaStar!




Here's the blurb.

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…

Few options remain for Byron. A talented but stubborn young man with a troubled past and rebellious attitude, his cockpit skills are his only hope. Slated to train as a Cosbolt fighter pilot, Byron is determined to prove his worth and begin a new life as he sets off for the moon base of Guaard.


Much to Byron’s chagrin, the toughest instructor in the fleet takes notice of the young pilot. Haunted by a past tragedy, Bassa eventually sees through Byron's tough exterior and insolence. When a secret talent is revealed during training, Bassa feels compelled to help Byron achieve his full potential.

As war brews on the edge of space, time is running short. Byron requires a navigator of exceptional quality to survive, and Bassa must make a decision that could well decide the fate of both men. Will their skills be enough as they embark on a mission that may stretch their abilities to the limit?

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal




Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He’s experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Currently he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.

http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

CassaStar is avaliable now. :)

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

K.M.Weiland: Conquering Writer's Block.

We all get writer's block. Yeah, some people say it's a myth, but when you're staring at the blank word document (and mindlessly eating your weight in chocolate) it doesn't feel mythic.

So I have an awesome guest poster today. You may know K.M.Weiland from her amazing blog Wordplay. Katie has an amazing new CD out designed to help with writer's block. Take it away, Katie.




Angst and Creativity

The whole idea of “suffering for our art” seems romantic when it happens in the movies. But the real-life version can sometimes seem as if it includes a whole lot more suffering than art. I’ll venture to say that anyone who’s ever tried to write anything more than a pun has spent some his fair share of time wandering around, hands clenched in his hair, eyes wild and bloodshot, muttering to himself, and generally looking a) agonized, b) insane, or c) undead (take your pick). When asked why we write, we’re usually quick to respond with an answer along the lines of “because I love it.” But sometimes it’s hard to figure out how we can love something that can make us so miserable. Jessamyn West and George Orwell, respectively, agreed:

“Writing is so difficult that I feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter.”

“Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

Most of us just accept the angst as a necessary evil of the writing lifestyle. But is it? Is angst a catalyst for creativity? Or is it a hindrance?

In my experience, it’s a little of both. Writing a poem, a story, or a book is a monumental undertaking. Why should we expect it to be easy? In fact, if it were easy, wouldn’t that sap just a little of the marvelous sense of fulfillment and gratification which is our reward when finally we type “the end”? In many ways, the difficulties of writing only make it that much worthier of our time and effort.

However, as too many of us who have wallowed in the black seas of a writer’s depression can attest, angst, when carried too far, can be a killing blow to our inspiration. As I point out in my recently released CD Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration (http://www.kmweiland.com/books_CWBASI.php), one of the most crucial steps in encouraging inspiration to take root in our lives begins with having a positive attitude.

A little angst is unavoidable, and arguably even important, in our experiences as artists. When we’re stuck on a tough story problem, of course we’re going to feel anxious and frustrated and frightened and perhaps even a little angry. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging and accepting these feelings when they come knocking for good reason. But it’s important we don’t allow ourselves to wallow in them. Approach writing with joy. Always remind yourself of the great blessings found in being a writer. The bad days will come. But don’t let them get you down. If you can wake each morning and approach your manuscript with a joyous sense of expectation and that irreplaceable childlike wonder, inspiration will be knocking at your mental door all day long. Harlan Ellison nicely summed up this impossible balance of the writing life:

“Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you—as if you haven’t been told a million times already—that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching.”




K.M. Weiland writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in the sandhills of western Nebraska. She enjoys mentoring other authors through her writing tips, editing services, workshops, and her recently released instructional CD Conquering Writer’s Block and Summoning Inspiration.

Thank you for being my blog guest today, Katie, and for the amazing advice. :)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Character Interview With Lisa Desrochers: Luc Cain from PERSONAL DEMONS.

So, today I am excited to have an interview with the fantastic Lisa Desrochers, author of this book:




Here's the blurb:

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She's spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same...until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can't seem to stay away from him. What she doesn't know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the king of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.



Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn't long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.


But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.

Okay, so that's all about the book. Now, in fear of being smited, I need to introduce the real star of this interview. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Hell's very own, Luc Cain.


Lindsay: I've heard you described as cocky, dangerous and seductive. If you had to choose three words to describe yourself what would they be and why?

Demon, demon, demon. Because I’m a demon.

Amparo: What are the best and worst things about working for Hell?


Hmm…well…there are perks to being the best at what you do. I’ve worked my way up to a First Level demon, which means, for the most part, I can choose my assignments. I like to get to mortals when they’re still open and adventurous. High school’s pretty much the place to be, and because my numbers are good, Lucifer lets me do what I want. Down side: you screw up, you end up dismembered and burning in the bottom of the Fiery Pit for all eternity. No fun, even for a demon.

Katrina: What's your favorite sin?


Pride. I’m a Creature of Pride. All others are inferior.

Lindsay: If I was trying to decide between heaven and hell how would you help me choose?

Everyone’s initial reaction is to say they’d choose Heaven. If you stop and think about it for even a minute, I think you’d see that the answer isn’t as clear-cut as you might think. First of all, you need to understand that there are a lot of rules in Heaven. Pretty much anything goes in Hell. It’s like a really hot, sticky party. Sort of. No matter what you do, no one is going to rip your wings off and throw you out, so it’s really much more laid back.

Amparo: How confident are you in terms of turning Frannie over to the dark side?

You’re joking, right?

Katrina: What's the easiest sin to get humans to commit?
That depends entirely on the mortal. They all tend toward something. It’s just a matter of blurring the lines between right and wrong enough that they let their inhibitions go. I just have to get them to the tipping point and they’ll eventually give in to Greed, Lust, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Gluttony and even Pride.
 
So there you have it.
 
Thank you to Lisa Desrochers, and Luc, for being guests on my blog today.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Queries, Chat, OA and Elana J!

Okay, I'm double duty today. hee hee. (Sorry, had a FRIENDS flashback then with double doodie. haha)

Anyway, enough about that, here's the awesome news.

Hate them or love them, we all have to write query letters. I know, I know, I get those days where I'd rather write another 70k MS than sit down and slog out 250 words about my plot. But we must.

Like those L'Oreal adverts, you know your MS is worth it.

So put down the pen. Step away from the synopsis and come chat with us.

Yep, Operation Awesome is having a query chat on Thursday the 28th of October at 9pm (EST)/2pm (CT).
We'll be taking how to/what not to do, the things you MUST include and everything inbetween. Oh heck, it's just a huge query chat. And that's not all. Did I mention we have a special guest? Yes, joining us is the query goddess herself, Elana Johnson.



And we want you! That's right, come chat with Elana and the Operation Awesome gals.

As always I'll prepare virtual cookies, but we have other prizes as well. There will be a few copies of Elana's awesome query ebook (which will get you a handy-dandy free crit with purchase).  And Elana has generously offered 3 query critiques as extra prizes.

Can you say frawesome?

Okay, I really need to lay off the cookies.

So, join us on over at OA on the 28th and lets talk queries.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

To NaNo Or Not To NaNo?

I've been hearing a lot of talk about the mythical beast called NaNoWriMo.

To see this strange creature in its natural habitat is new to me -- yes, I am a NaNo virgin.

The idea I could ever write 50k in a month was a major WTFlip moment...until the wip came along and the whole 1k a day extravaganza. I said if I got the wip done by the end of October, then I'd take part in NaNo. So, now I'm nearing completion with wip (8k to go. WOOT), I think I need to keep my word.

Plus, I love a challenge.

So tell me...anyone got any NaNo tips for me? Anyone want to buddy me and hold my trembling little hand if I take the plunge?

Come on...share the NaNo advice. I need to pick your brains. :)

Oh, and before I go...tomorrow there is a special Operation Awesome event announcement. Squee is not the word.

And on Thursday I will be posting the interview with the lovely Lisa Desrochers, I mean Luc Cain. And you know how testy demons can get. :)

Monday, 11 October 2010

Interview Alert. Interview Alert.

Oh, here I am. Yes, I'm back after a rather weird few days where my poor little blog baby went unloved and abandoned. Sorry blog baby, I was with the wip baby.

Okay, it wasn't just the wip. I had another friend's birthday, an evil cold, and (like I mentioned) the wip that stole me away. Yes, even with a cold, my word rampage continues. I was also arranging some awesome things for here and over at Operation Awesome.

So. Excited.

So today you don't want to hang out with me. Nope. Nope. Nope. Why? Because Amparo, Katrina and I have joined forces to interview some awesome debut and published authors, and we're chatting with some of their MC's! So head across to Amparo's blog and check out the interview with Bianca from THE DUFF by Kody Keplinger.

Oh, and later this week we'll have the sexy demon from hell, Luc (from Personal Demons by the fantastic Lisa Desrocher's) on this very blog. Woot. Squee. Yay.

P.S. Don't forget the All White For Twilight contest is still rocking over on Operation Awesome until 12pm (BST) on the 31st of October. Click here to find out how to enter.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Yawns, Rests and Links and Contests.

Sorry if I'm a little yawny, but I was up late after the Operation Awesome chat and I think my body still needs to catch up. For anyone who couldn't join us, we missed you! But I'm sure we'll have another one. :)

So with my brain in less gear than usual, I'm taking a day off. Not off blogging all together, you can still find my cookies and smiles over on Operation Awesome today. I'll also be reading the post delights around the blogosphere and working on my wip.

I'll also be getting my agent list ready to query my completed MS some time in the future. So I'm heading off to visit Katie (a.k.a Creepy Query Girl) for her agent hunt tips.

I'm also writing my entry for the awesome Horror at Hannah's contest.

Then remind myself I still need to enter Justine Dell's 250 follower contest.

And I'm dancing with happiness at Jessica (a.k.a The Alliterative Allomorph) who has some awesome news.

And sending congrats to the lovely Jen from Unedited on her 3 year wedding anniversary.

Oh yeah, and before I forget. If you'd like the chance to win a UK limited edition set of white Twilight Saga books (sent by my fair hand -- I may also slip in some chocolate!) then pop over to Operation Awesome and enter the All White For Twilight contest. Entries close Midnight (BST) on the 31st of October.

Yeah, I guess my break didn't really last long there. :)

Happy Wednesday everyone.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Awesome Chat

Today Kristal, one of my Operation Awesome CP's, has taken over my blog to announce this:

AWESOME CHAT:


Today, from 5-6pm EST, come join the Operation Awesome girls in the OA Writing Lab (password: awesome) for some tantalizing discussion about magical limitations in your writing. The OA bloggers LOVE their magical story elements. In fact, I think every single one of us is writing a sparkly-magical story right now, so we have lots of opinions/tips/thoughts about how to do it convincingly, and we'd love to hear yours as well.

Door prizes include:

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Voice of Crow by Jeri Smith-Ready
 
Torment by Lauren Kate (UK edition)
 
So, if you are free between 5-6 tonight, please feel free to come say hi. I'll do my best to be as sparkling and witty as I can (even though it will be 9pm BST). I'll be the one in the corner with the cookies. :)

Monday, 4 October 2010

1k A Day Challenge: UPDATE

So the 1k a day challenge from Operation Awesome officially started on the 1st of October, and that means today is an update day.

Verdict: The weekend was writetastic. I got some major wordage down (7k), and welcomed the books 'Halo' by Alexandra Adornetto and 'Revolution' by Jennifer Donnelly into my bookshelf family.

So I'm happy.

But now for fun to kick start Monday.

It's October so it means it's time for QUERYPOLITAN. And this month there's signed Shiver books up for grabs.

Next there is an awesome excerpt from Alex. J. Cavanaugh's book CassaStar. And I'm super excited to have Alex's book trailer on the blog later this month!

And the query goddess herself, Elana Johnson is talking about why she wrote Possession. Unfortunately she doesn't mention me as one of the reasons. ;)

Finally, I missed this due to friend's birthday celebrations on Friday, but huge congrats to Lisa Roecker who gave birth to the gorgeous Benjamin. Check out the cutie here.

So, how was your weekend?

Friday, 1 October 2010

Contest Alert

Apologies for yesterday's blog silence. The cake decorating took longer than I thought...photos to follow though. Promise.

I have some exciting news. Not only is today the day Hilary Wagner's fantastic book NIGHTSHADE CITY is released, but it's also the start of a new contest on Operation Awesome.

What's that? Well let's just say being British finally paid off!

I've hijacked Katrina's blog day to launch the epic TWI-Contest.

YOU can win one of two sets of limited edition Twilight Saga books only avaliable in the UK/Ireland -- the one's with the white covers!

Here, take a sneek peak:



Seriously, what are you waiting for? Check it out.

Happy Friday everyone. :)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Cakes And Queries.

Today I am making cakes. Not writing cakes, a real birthday cake for a friend.

So, while I'm roasting in the kitchen, I started to thing about creating things/doing things for others.

And here is your chance.

The awesome Katie Mills (a.k.a Creepy Query Girl) has her query for her novel, FOSSEGRIM up for comments at Matt's blog, theqqqe.

So feel free to hop over and help Katie get her query filled with more sparkles than a cupcake with sprinkles.

I promise it will be just as yummy as cake.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Tag: You're It

I figured that since I'm investing in my writing, I should invest in my body as well. Which means regular exercise...and using my gym membership. So I've been. The verdict: my body hates me. My legs are crying, but I feel pretty good for it.

So I was glad when I read Renae's post on Internet tag. I have to answer eight questions, and tag eight people to answer the same. But Renae, and the agents over at Coffee. Tea. And Literary tagged everyone who read thee post. So I'm doing the same.

Don't blame me, blame my poor tormented limbs...they made me do it. :)


1. If you could have a superpower, what would you have? Why?

It's a mix between flying or super speed. Flying for fun, super speed for getting stuff done...oh and writing, reading

2. Who is your style icon?

Hmm. I'm rather eclectic in my fashion sense (my friend calls me a hippy/rock chick). I'd have to say I'm a mix of both styles, but I don't really have a style icon...I'm like a magpie.

3. What is your favorite quote?

"Have no fear of perfection -- you'll never reach it." (Salvador Dali)
4. What is the best compliment you've ever received?

Err, I'm not sure on that one. But I do like being told that I've helped someone, that's the best compliment for me. I like it if I can make other people smile.

5. What playlist/cd is on your ipod/cd player right now?

The play list for my current wip is on repeat on my ipod at the moment. It has lots of Muse, Apocalyptica, Coldplay and The Script on it.

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?

I'm a night owl, but not too late. I'm the Goldilocks of sleep. :)

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Dogs. I like cats, but we only ever had a dog when I was younger. I do like cats though.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

I called my blog 'Adventures In Writing' because you can never have too many adventures. Besides, for me, that's what writing/reading is -- full of adventures.  
 
So that's me. Feel free to partake in the tag yourself.