Monday, October 31, 2011


Happy Spookfesta!  Today I'm celebrating the launch of Elizabeth Mueller's first book Darkspell. Go visit her and give her some bloggy love!

She asked us to answer one question.  What would you do if you had all the magic in the world?

If I had all the magic in the world I would jump back in time and become another person from history for a day.  I would love to live for one day as Queen Elizabeth, Sacagawea, or Thomas Jefferson.  To understand historical events and places from the perspective of the people living it would be priceless.  

To order a copy of Darkspell from Amazon click HERE.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Two Teenage Daughters

Warning: This post contains intense gushing over my children.  :)

Teenage Daughters- those two words can scare even the bravest parent.

When my girls were little I wondered what they would be like as teenagers.  Would they fall under some magical spell on their 13th birthdays transforming them into rebellious drama queens?  Could these adorable little princesses really transform into devils?

The spell was never cast on my girls.  That mystical night came and went and I now have two teenage daughters who remain best of friends and are still a joy to be around. We do everything together, from writing, to skating, to cooking.  I feel lucky that they continue to want me to join the fun. And they are always including their 7 year old brother in their crazy ideas.  Which usually ends in loud bursts of laughter.

I no longer have doubts on the kind of women they will become.  I'm already immensely proud of what they have accomplished and how they think of the world.  They both seem wise beyond their years.  Much more so than I was at that age.

My throat tightens when I think of Jessica leaving for college in 4 years and Alyssa following two years later. But I believe these teenage years which frighten so many, will be the most rewarding.  I am honored to be a part of their journey to becoming independent women.  


p.s. sorry for the mushy post, but I saw that Fox Network is starting a new series, "I Hate My Teenage Daughter" and I was appalled.  I had to write about how great my girls are!

NANOWRIMO- I'm excited.  I've decided to participate this year.  I have my outline almost ready.  YEAH!  Are you participating?  and how do you prepare?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Third Campaign Challenge

Ok here is the third challenge of Rachael Harrie's Campaign over at Rach Writes.  

Write a blog post in 300 words or less, excluding the title. The post can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should show:
  • that it’s morning, 
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.
Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise."   (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).

Here is my entry hope you like it:

Antarctic Morning

The first rays of pink streak the sky and bleed into the sea.  I bend down to test the frigid water with the Synbatec scope.  The little red needle on the instrument panel pegs the 1000ml mark.  Too much Tacise acid, I think.  That's not good for the Antarctic Krill population and whatever affects the krill affects the penguins.  What can I do though?  I'm supposed to be helping here, but there's nothing to do until the mountains of pack ice that hold the sea hostage break up. Our boats can't navigate the 10 miles to the penguin rookery on Torgersen Island.  
 An eerie sound emanates from the depths of the mile thick blue ice.  It creaks and moans like a living being.  I sit back in frustration on the cold little bucket I use as a stool.  An icy breeze whips at my face forming tiny frozen crystals on my eyelashes, but gazing at this landscape of magnificent desolation somehow warms my soul.    
Dr. Martin catches my attention and motions for me to join him farther down the beach.  He crouches in front of a Brown Skua nest.  The pungent smell of fresh guano fills my nostrils and I almost gag.  Inside the nest a fluffy squawking chick awaits the return of his parents.  I gently lift the chick so Dr. Martin can fasten a radio tag his wing.  There are still tiny bits of wastopaneer, from the egg, stuck to his feathers.  I try to pick them off but something slams hard into my back.  I stumble from the impact.  The mother has returned. She dives at me again.  I see her coming and return the baby bird to his nest. She aborts the attack but voices her displeasure by spraying her stomach contents in my face.  


I'm Entry # 22.  If you like it please vote for me here!  Thanks :)
The campaign has been a blast!  I have enjoyed every challenge and I love reading the other entries.  You can enter until Oct 24th.  So hop on over to her site and sign up! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Early Works

Julie over at Rosewood Pencil Box is hosting a great blogfest called Oh, the  Early Works.  The idea is to hear what other bloggers wrote as their first works and to be able to laugh/rejoice over the memories of them.  It was supposed to go until Oct 14th but it has been extended to Oct 28th.  So hop on over and join in the fun.      

I can't remember when I didn't love to write.  I know I started out with some pretty cheesy poetry, but luckily, I don't remember any of them.  The first story I really remember was one I wrote in 5th grade. It was about this girl who wore big bulky sweaters to school.  Unfortunately, the sweaters always had giant lint balls hanging off them and all the kids made fun of her. (You can probably guess what kind of clothes I must have worn to 5th grade!)  Anyway she ran into the bathroom crying and tried to comb the lint off of her sweater.  She kept combing and combing until a giant lint ball formed that rolled around and ate the whole school!

The next story, my mom and I wrote together and we had a blast.  I still remember sitting at the table laughing so hard we cried as we thought of new scenes.  This one was about a grandma and her granddaughter.  They met up with some strange unfriendly alien creatures that looked like walking pieces of bacon.  The grandma had  an extra special shiny belt buckle that shot out laser beams as the sun hit it and blinded the bacon people.  Somehow they all became friends and had a picnic of bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches!  Yikes I guess I had a crazy imagination....maybe I still do.

What were your earliest works?  Check out Julie's site to see what odd stuff other bloggers wrote about as kids.


P.S. We rode the ferry across Puget Sound today.  It was beautiful!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pay It Forward

Yeah today is Friday!  Can't wait for the weekend!  Hopefully I will have time to explore our new city a little more with the husband and kids.

Anyway today, I'm participating in Matthew MacNish's blogfest Pay It Forward over at The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment. The point is to connect people.  So here are three blogs that I've recently found.  Check them out and follow them then hop on over to Matthew's site and check out the linky list for other great bloggers.

Carrie Butler at So Youre a Writer

1000th Monkey

Chris Yankee at Adventures That Score

How's my writing going you ask?  Well with all the great responses from the Insecure Writer's Group over at Alex J Cavanaugh's, I have been reinvigorated.  Yeah!  I'm working on fleshing out my characters and creating a skeleton of the overall story.  It seems to be working so far.  Yesterday I had 113 items for my skeleton, but then I realized it had taken a wrong turn. So I deleted a bunch of them and started from a new spot in the story.  I know it sounds like I went backwards but I'm learning more about my characters and how they would react and therefore I think I am actually getting somewhere.  Yippee!

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My New View

The view of Puget Sound from my window! :)
Well we made it all the way to Seattle!  We had a great trip but I am happy to get back to a more normal schedule.  We got settled in to our new apartment quickly.  I guess I'm finally becoming a city girl, because I've already explored a few places on my own!  Ok I wasn't really on my own, I was with my kids, but I can't really count on them for directional assistance.

20 years ago I was petrified with fear when I had to go out alone on the streets of New York City.  My best friend and I went to New York City together, she had lived there before and was comfortable going anywhere.  But I was from a small rural town in Michigan.  She got sick and didn't want to eat...for a long time.  I skipped a couple meals because I was terrified to go out on my own.  Finally, because hunger forced me, I braved the Big Apple on my own.  Ok I really only walked a block to a deli and got a sandwich and a calzone.  But I didn't get mugged or lost.  YEAH!  That was the beginning of my journey to seeing big cities as more than what I had heard on the news.

Now after having enjoyed visiting cities like Chicago, New York, and San Francisco and living in downtown Philadelphia for 2 years, I have come to view big cities in a whole new way.  The paralyzing fear has been replaced by excitement.  Excitement to expose my kids and myself to all sorts of new cultural, artistic, and metropolitan experiences. Even walking home from the grocery store was a memorable experience today.  A flash rainstorm appeared and drenched us.  With no car to shelter us, we ran from eaves to eaves laughing all the way...and learning our view of Seattle better include an umbrella!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Almost There

We have made it 2100 miles across the country, through endless fields of corn, golden prairies, desolate mountain passes, and stately pine forests. In Yellowstone National Park I was in awe of the most foreign landscape I had ever scene.  It was like we stepped back into the Jurassic Period with pots of boiling mud, spewing geysers, and gasses leaking from every fissure in the Earth.


I swear a T-Rex was lurking in there somewhere, but all we saw were bison.

But now our cross-country adventure is almost done.  We only have 310 miles left on the journey to our new home.  We've had 8 great days together exploring and it's a little sad to be approaching the last day.  
It's the end of a great chapter of our lives, but the next chapter, with its plethora of blank pages, lies within reach.  I can't wait to see what will be written on those pages.


How are things going with you? I'd love to hear what new chapters have begun in your lives.

I want to thank all the people who left great comments on my Insecure Writer's post.  They helped me quite a bit and I'm excited again to be working on my novel.

And ooohh yeah, I finally hit 100 followers!  Thanks to Sarah Perry over at the The Restless Writer for becoming #100. Check out her great site and give her some love.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Insecure Writer's Group

Today I am participating in Alex Cavanauugh's Insecure Writer's Group.  The purpose is to share and express our trials, tribulations and successes.  The goal is to support one another and boost each other's confidence so that our imaginations can become reality. The first Wednesday of every month we post our insecurities or if we're lucky our successes.

I have a lot of insecurities, but for this month I'm going to stick with my current problem.  I have completed 3 children's picture book manuscripts that I'm quite happy with after numerous revisions.  I've sent them out repeatedly but can't seem to generate any interest.  So I've decided to let them sit for awhile until I can figure out what to do with them.

In the meantime, I've begun to focus my attention on a novel. It's not going too well.   Maybe it's because I'm used to writing books with only 500 words, but I can't seem to get past the first chapter!  I really like my first chapter but I don't know where the story should go from there.  I feel lost.
I've tried to write the second chapter but the supporting characters seem wooden and boring.  Then I wonder if my overall plot is really just a jumble of ideas that don't really fit.  I've tried making a skeleton of the entire story, but I get overwhelmed and then I check my email or blog and I don't come back to it.  So it sits there, like a planted seed just waiting to be watered.

If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear them.  How do you go about organizing your novels?  Do you have a set "map", or do you just go with the flow?  Do you make a complete character sketch for each character or just the main ones?

I'd also love to hear your successes!

Thanks for all your support!


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Flash Fiction Alert!

Rachael Harrie over at Rach Writes is at it again.  The second challenge in the campaign is to write a piece of 200 words or less using these words: oscitate, lacuna, synchronicity, and miasma. It should also have the word imago in the title. Referring to a mirror gets you extra good stuff!
I didn't think I would have time for this one with our move West this week, but as we were driving through the endless fields of corn I was transported to a time long ago.  Here is my entry I'm #183.  Hope you enjoy it.

Letters From Imago

Dear Brother,

    Please forgive the lacuna in my writing. These months have passed quickly and I scarcely have time to put quill to paper.  I fear you would not recognize me, for since I lost Robert I have changed considerably. I'm afraid I would not know myself if I glanced in a mirror.  This is what transpired since Robert and I left the city.
   Our covered wagon traverses golden fields that stretch as far as I can see.  Heavy heads of prairie grass sway in the breeze with mesmerizing synchronicity. My head bobs mimicking the monotony. I oscitate. Three more weeks of this scenery.  Dull compared to city life.  It is peaceful though and the air is clear.  I see why Robert wished for us to make this journey.  The putrid miasma that filled the city streets is merely a memory.  Only the light sweet scent of Purple Prairie Clover surrounds us.

In the distance a great cloud approaches.  Maybe it's buffalo. The ground trembles and the air around me roars.  It is no herd. I see the dirt filled wind twisting around itself dancing like an enraged devil.  I am thrown from the wagon and am engulfed in blackness.

I'd love to hear your comments and if you liked it vote for me.  :)   Happy October!