Monday, June 28

I Promise to Blog More *cue broken record*

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

That picture says it all. This week has been something else. There have been the awesome happy times, the dreadful times, and the just plain stressful ones. I'm doing better now. 

Monday, June 21

Revised query, check!

funny pictures of cats with captions

I hope everyone had a Happy Father's Day yesterday!

Today I've spent some time revising my query letter, which has done pretty good so far. It took me several hours to do, but I'm more content with it than I have been previously. I had some great writing resources to stare at while in the process of revising it too. There's Query Shark, Jill Corcoran's Formula For A Query Letter, and Guide to Literary Agents' How to Write a Query Letter. If you're looking to write or perfect a query letter, Query Shark is a great place to go, but all of those resources are really good.

Anyways, I can't believe it's nearing the end of June. Between writing and the FIFA World Cup, where has the month gone? Not that I completely mind, since I'm highly anticipating next month with the 2010 RWA National Convention at Swan and Dolphin in Orlando, FL. Woohoo!

Friday, June 18

The Friday 56

The Fourth and Fifth Sentences
"He had actually accomplished the feat he'd been dreaming of for years.  He'd become the Navajo Wolf--in broad daylight." - Shadow Force by Linda Conrad

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
* Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Saturday, June 12

Entertaining and Informative this from Twitter this week

I've gotten back to using Twitter, and I have once again become emerged in the brilliant information those that I follow give. I'm not going to give all of the things I've found this week since I didn't keep all of the links, but here are a few.  Hopefully they'll entertain or be enlightening you guys as well.

  • -- On Characters by Lilith Saintcrow. An awesome blog post that gives a lot of great tips and information for writers wanting to utilize their characters better.
  • -- A funny link to a movie trailer Norwegian Ninja. My husband and I laughed throughout the entire trailer.
  • -- Formula for a Query Letter by Jill Corcoran is a really interesting article/blog. It gives step by step information on writing a query letter, what to have in it, what not to have in it, and why.
  • -- 4 Tips For Making Time to Write by Victoria Lynn Schmidt, Ph.D is an except from her book, Book in a Month, which I actually have sitting on my shelf waiting for me to try out. Hmmm!
  • And last but not least... -- The Official music video for War by Poets of the Fall from the Alan Wake (video game) official soundtrack. I *love* Poets of the Fall. They're a band from Finland, and they're very, very awesome. Great song, which the music video was only released this week.

Friday, June 11

Please welcome... author Lenore Butcher!

Fan Fiction - A Few Thoughts from a Fledgling Author

Recently one of my favourite authors, Diana Gabaldon had a bit of a public lash out against fan fiction. I read her blog and the responses to it very carefully and quite attentively as I was, once upon a time, a fan fiction author. *Shock, gasps of disbelief from the audience.*

I am not going to touch on the legality of fan fiction, intellectual property rights, the many societies devoted to protecting transformative works, or the Fair Use legislation. I am only going to write about my personal experiences in writing fan fiction and my viewpoints on it now that I’m a published author (Check out my book, ‘Dead Girls, Dogs and Ponies’, available exclusively at

Oh my forays into the art of writing fan fiction started innocently enough. I loved the Brady Bunch madly as a young child and I would write little stories where my own little Mary Sue persona would have mad adventures with Marcia and Jan (but not Cindy, because she was annoying) and then Greg would... well, I was only seven at the time, so I think my imaginary Greg probably took me out for ice cream. And then there was the time I was the new girl on the Facts of Life and everybody liked me, even Blair. And then I discovered Star Wars (and, oddly enough, about the same time, puberty) and my stories became a bit more... interesting and very Han Solo-specific.

Once I entered high school and the 80's, fan fiction became a way to escape daily life for both myself and my friends. I wrote ream after ream of fan fiction, both solo and in tandem with one of many writing partners I had at the time. The main topic most of the time was the British pop band Duran Duran. I still have most of that fan fiction, squirreled away deep in the depths of my basement.

Fan fiction took a break for me when I entered university and Duran Duran faded quite a bit from the public eye. I was busy getting educated, and then after that getting married, having kids and so on. Along the way I kept writing my own original work. There weren’t any fandoms out there that really seized my imagination... until my brother gave me this little book for Christmas one year. It was called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. You might have heard of it. I devoured the books, and then found fan fiction online to read. A lot of fan fiction. Some of it is quite good... some of it not so much. Along the way I discovered and began reading a few other fandoms. There are quite a few talented fan fiction writers out there. At least one of them that I know of has actually branched out to publish her own original works. Fan fiction asks the question ‘what would happen if’ and it answers it. Sometimes the question appears to be ‘what would happen if the fan fiction author smoked a whole lot of drugs before she wrote a story?’ Either way, it’s a lot of fun to read both the good and the bad.

That’s my perspective on fan fiction as a fan and as an ex-fan fic author. My viewpoint on it as a new author is still being formed. Many authors, such as Diana Gabaldon, Anne McCaffrey, Laurell K. Hamilton and Ann Rice are vehemently opposed to fan fiction in any form. They do have a point. When you put so much time and effort into carefully crafting a world and populating it with interesting, vivid and memorable characters, it is upsetting to have them taken and put into situations you hadn’t intended to have happen, such as romantic entanglements or character deaths. To use an example from my own writing, Justin who is my main character has a friend Gord who he spends a great deal of time with. Justin and Gord are both straight. I would definitely not enjoy reading a story where they were not so straight as that was not my intention when I wrote ‘Dead Girls, Dogs and Ponies’.

On the other hand, there are authors, notably J K Rowling, Stephenie Myers and Jim Butcher (no relation, honest!) who don’t mind their characters being used in fan fiction. I admit, it is quite heady to think that your characters are so awesome, your plots so well written, your setting so compelling that you inspire others to create works of fiction based on your own world. It’s kind of like having a legion of ‘Mini Me’s’ all over the world.

So for me, for right now, I’m still on the fence in terms of fan fiction. But while I’m sitting here, I have this nifty little Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Brady Bunch crossover I’m working on...

Thursday, June 10

Into the Paranormal: Fylgjur and Valkyrjur in Norse Mythology

So! Last week I discussed Fylgja and delved into my topic of this week a little bit of how Fylgja seem to resemble Valkyries (Valkyrjur). Fylgja are guardian spirits that take shape in either the form of an animal or a woman and watch over a certain person or family. If the person sees their Fylgja, it’s a sign that their death is immediate. Interestingly enough, the Fylgja takes on the features of the person it is assigned to protect.

Valkyries are warrior women who brought the souls of their chosen slain heroes to Valhalla, which is the “hall of the slain” (aka Norse afterlife) that the Norse god Odin ruled. They did protect the chosen warrior as well as well as They associated themselves with swans and had the ability to shapeshift into one. They could also appear as women in the form of the heroes’ lovers or another mortal.

According to one source, valkyries and fylgjur are “Fates, who direct a man’s destiny from birth to death.” One part of the source seems to lump them together as if they are one spiritual guardian that changes roles as the person’s life progress, but other sources oppose the idea, proving that they are two different types of guardians with their own role. I lean in favor of this explanation since it seems like they seem specialized and not run of the mill guardians.

Overall, this was a very fun topic to learn about. Links to a few of the different sources I visited are listed below if you’d like to research the topic further for a story idea, or if you’re like me, just for fun even. It’s always great to find new things to write about in the paranormal genre. And I hope you all have enjoyed this as much as I. Give me your thoughts and opinions about this topic. Or let me know what other kinds of paranormal creatures you’d like me to discuss! *smiles*

Wednesday, June 9


Woo! I got a lot accomplished yesterday considering the fact that I threw my back out a couple days ago.  Blah...

In the wee hours, I finished reading Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews from the Kate Daniels series, which was such an awesome book.  It has to be one of the best, if not THE best, that I've read this year. Then I also finished reading Embrace the Night by Karen Chance from her Cassie Palmer series, which was really good, too. Now I'm currently reading Shadow Force by Linda Conrad.  It's a little bit of an older book, but it looked good enough to put on my shelf to read this year. =)

I've also gotten back on the horse with writing my WIP. I shall finish it by the end of the month. That's my main goal since next month I'd like to focus on getting myself prepared for Nationals.  I've been getting decent word counts each day, and the ideas are starting to flow again.  So I'm going to hang on for the ride.

Saturday, June 5


This month, I'm going to try to get back to my rhythm of posting blogs and participating on twitter, etc as I'd planned throughout this year. I've also gotten back to going to the gym, writing, etc. Here's for getting back on track (again, lol)! Things are now starting to stabilize a little, which is a relief.

I've registered for the RWA National Conference. Woohoo! It'll be my first one. I'm sad that Nashville was flooded since I'm originally from there and spent most of my life there. I'd planned on going to the conference in Nashville initially, but with a few hefty expenses arising, I reluctantly decided it wasn't going to be feasible. Now that the conference is in Central Florida, I'm able to go for sure, and I'd be stupid to not go.

On a sidenote, I've added Bob Mayer's blog to my blog list. He has a Warrior Writer class that I took online at the beginning of the year, which was awesome. Very good information.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. =)

Friday, June 4

The Friday 56

The Fifth Sentence
"The old photographs showed a small stream winding through it all, flanked by carefully selected plants, its waters sheltering huge surly koi." - Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
* Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Thursday, June 3

Into the Paranormal: Fylgjur and Norse Mythology

Today, I’ll be discussing a mythological being I found out about a while back. It is called the Fylgja. The Fylgja is a guardian spirit of Norse mythology. They carry a connection to a person or sometimes family and protect or prevent harm from befalling its human. Fylgjur usually appear to their person in the shape of a woman or an animal. While researching this, I read that they are most often seen in the animal form during sleep; although, they could be awake, but if one were to see their fylgja, it is an omen of their encroaching death. Though, when the fylgjur appear as women, they are looked on as guardians, which is fascinating since valkyrjur (valkyries) were also females that would appear to the Vikings in female shape and lead the men to Valhalla. Valkyrjur were also connected with animals.

I’ve been very intrigued by this subject ever since Elizabeth Black guest blogged at The Deadly Vixens (a paranormal blog I used to be part of) about different mythological creatures that are out there for paranormal authors to partake in that step outside the norms of vampires, werewolves, and ghosts, which I love so much. I couldn’t imagine not writing about these more common mythological creatures, but I’ve decided to eventually write a novel on the fylgja. I definitely plan on dipping into how the fylgjur and valkyrjur’s similarities, but that’ll have to wait until next week! I can’t give too much away so soon, can I?

Some great links to find out more about fylgja are:

What do you think about this topic regarding fylgja? What are some mythological creatures that you’ve heard about recently that delve outside of the normal of the paranormal genre that you really enjoy or that you’d like to find more information about? Let me know! =)
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