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Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: "Dispirited" by Luisa Perkins

When Luisa was looking for reviewers, I'd already heard such good things about her novel, "Dispirited", that I started waving my hand frantically in the air, despite the pile of stuff already on my "to do" list. And boy am I glad I did.

The Point of the Plot:
from zarahemlabooks.com "Cathy sees things that are invisible to everyone else. Her new stepbrother's bizarre behavior. A ghostly little boy. An abandoned house in the woods. But she doesn't see how they're all connected. And what she doesn't see might just kill her."

Friday, April 27, 2012

News Flash: "Haven" a short story by Ranee` S. Clark to be published!

I am SUPER excited to share some really great news with you guys: my speculative fiction romance Haven will be published in an anthology called "It's A Love Thing," tentatively scheduled for release June 1st by Prose By Design!

Here's the teaser: 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Variety Poetry: Britney Gulbrandsen

Another talented poet who sent me three poems to choose from, and of course, I chose the sweet, touching, romantic poem. See for yourself:

Green Apple Gumballs

The song in my head is a subtle reminder,
A memory of last June,
    A portrait of us—

    Bright red doors,
    Jumping by fountains,
    Lollipops and bubblegum,
    Rain and umbrellas.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Variety Poetry: Jewel Leann Williams

And National Poetry Month Celebration continues with a poem from Jewel Leann Williams.
Leann sent me three poems to consider and I knew the minute I read her first one, it must be posted. You will probably feel the same. 

From Leann:
This first was from a poetry challenge, which was to use the words red, marble, and bloom in a poem of exactly 20 lines....

Fill to bursting, screams of red
barely kept behind my teeth
Pulse throbbing, pounding rage
boiling in my blood to seethe
Jaw clenching, eyes burning
Brow marbled by bulging veins
Black roses, stinking deathweed
Brought to bloom by your cursed name

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Author Interview: Krista Lynne Jensen, "Of Grace and Chocolate"

Me: This question is becoming a habit for me, but since you know so many of my favorite people in the world (My best friend, Brook Grant; my aunt, Arlene Brimhall; my cousin, Donna Banks . . . to name a few!) I feel like it' especially pertinent to you. Would you like to be my best friend? :)

Krista: I love friends. I'm flattered you asked! Brook, Arlene, and Donna are some of the best people I know. If you lived closer we could go to lunch. At Rib & Chop! Yum. {And I would also join your writing group, whether you wanted me or not. :D}
Me: Really I'm just jealous that although you live in a fairly isolated part of Wyoming, like me, you still have an in-person writing group, which I don't. How did you get involved in your group and what is it like being a member? Are your writing tastes vastly different or eerily similar?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: "Of Grace and Chocolate" by Krista Lynne Jensen

I have to start with the great way that my **signed** copy of "Of Grace and Chocolate" came into my hands. After reading a fun interview with Krista on Sara M. Eden's blog, I thought, I need to read Krista's book. She sounds so amazing! And just a few weeks later I received an invitation on Facebook to come to Krista's signing in Cody, Wy (which happens to be mere miles from where I grew up!) and wanted so badly to go. I even texted my best friend, Brook, who lives in Cody and told her to say "hi" to Krista for me. Lo and behold a few days later a package arrived on my doorstep. My husband held it tauntingly at me and said, "What did you order this time?" Which is a totally valid question when you're married to someone with a book addiction. Except this time I hadn't ordered anything. I took the package with a quizzical glance until I saw the return address. As I ripped it open, I said, "OH! I hope it's signed!" My husband, now confused, said, "You hope what is signed?"
Yes, readers, it was a copy of "Of Grace and Chocolage," which my amazing best friend had gotten and mailed to me since I couldn't go to the signing myself. I sat right down to read and emerged an hour or so later, already a good chunk into the book, when my family demanded to be fed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Angel" is now on Amazon!

Did you like my Short Story Saturday feature "Angel"? It's now available through Amazon for Kindle. And from today (April 12) to Saturday (April 14) it's FREE!

So go now!

Buy from Amazon
AND "Angel" is also part of the Kindle Lending Library for the next 90 days. If you own a Kindle, you can "borrow" Angel to read.

Variety Poetry: Stephanie Abney

Stephanie submitted a bunch of really great poems. We established last week that I'm certainly no expert, so I just picked the poems that appealed to me. And probably to my romantic heart, as I seemed to choose the ones that tended toward romance. :)

From Stephanie:

In one of my favorite poetry forms: cinquain

Feeling secure
Where judgement has no place
Wrapped in the safety of your arms

Stephanie Abney ~ ©1998

Monday, April 9, 2012

On My Process

Every writer is different in the way they approach writing a book. I can be a bit perfectionist about it. . . . But just a bit, I swear. ;) Since I talked about editing last week, I thought it might be interesting to share how my entire process works. (So far. I'm hoping for some changes in that process when I get something published.)

Writing My Book
Before I discovered NaNo WriMo in 2008, I hadn't completed a novel. I had about a million 8-30 page starts of novels. Either I'd get stuck and stop, or I'd get a new idea and abandon the old one. (Which still happens occasionally, but I'm much better now.) But here is not the place for a lecture on the merits of NaNo WriMo. (That's here. And here. And a million other places because I'm a true believer.) This is just where I say, now I stick to a WIP whether it's working or not, whether it's going somewhere or not, whether I hate it or not. If I LOVE the idea and have a good idea of what I want to happen, I'll write a book in three to four months. A really crappy, pulled together, choppy first draft.
Are you asking yourself: wait, didn't you miss a step? Like you know, outlining? Outlining is such an insignificant part of my process it doesn't deserve it's own category. Sometimes I have a great outline with a lot of detailed points. Most the time I just have a list of characters and their basic specs and at least four points on my outline: beginning, middle, middle, conclusion. :D I'm a pantser, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Variety Article: On "How Do I Love Thee" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

It seems a bit odd for me to be touting poetry this month, even if it is National Poetry Month. I don't typically read poetry. It's always seemed a bit out of my reach. My English Lit teacher in college despaired of ever making me understand poetry. Sometimes it goes against the one piece of advice I've always been given as a writer: don't make the reader guess what you mean. But isn't that what poets do? They make us interpret and guess at what they intended? So either I'm thinking too much about it or not thinking enough. I can't decide.
Despite all that, there is one poem that I do love and swoon a bit over. Perhaps it's because I know a bit of the history behind the writer and a little of the love story that inspired it.

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways . . . 
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, --- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

And it's no surprise to any of you that I'm a romantic at heart. It makes sense that I'd connect with this poem. I don't understand every line of it, but at least I understand the feeling. I can understand that the emotion builds throughout, culminating in the ultimate hope of couples: love after death.

Happy Poetry Month!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Editing, Editing

It's part of a writers life. And sometimes it's fun. Sometimes it's so not. Sometimes when I get an MS back from a reader I get really excited about their comments and how great it's going to make the story. Sometimes when I delve into them I start feeling overwhelmed about how much work it's going to be.
Ask anyone who reads for me and they'll tell you I'm a needy sort of person. I like to be told exactly what the story needs. I'll email back and forth twelve different times hammering out ways to take care of the situation. I'm a hypocrite in so many ways because I always advise writers about how important it is to TRUST YOURSELF. And actually, mostly, I do. Sometimes. There's no denying that I'll breeze past a comment I don't agree with and then go back to it. Leave it there. Go back again. Ten more times before I decide I am right and delete. Still think about it.
This time, I'm having fun. The two people who read for me have great insight. I don't think I've ignored a suggestion yet because they're all spot on. I'm still worried about a lot of things. Editing is a bit nerve wracking for me. I know my three main characters need to connect more. Am I doing it? Would it work to pull a character from the second half of the book into the first half to foreshadow? Will it be believable? And the never ending list of how, how, how.
But I {love} the story.

For now. ;)

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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