Friday, December 31

The Year in Review... and Looking forward to 2011

Happy New Year everyone!

Wow, I can't believe that the year is almost over. So much has happened this year. I've made writer friends and critique buddies. Revised a few different WIPs. Read 26 books. Co-founded the awesome blog, Castles & Guns. And I wrote two books! I also finally delved fully into the world of querying agents. I'd queried in the past, but it hadn't been anywhere close to the scale that I did in 2010. And okay, I haven't found an agent yet, but I'm certain good things will be happening within the new year. So much awesome stuff has happened recently, things that have kind of been building blocks toward better and more.

Yes, years end brings optimism for a more successful upcoming year, but that's great, especially when one acts and makes a plan to stick to what they want to accomplish in the new year. I've formed my New Years Resolutions more like goals and have tried to decide what I really want to achieve in the upcoming year. With my "goals list" for 2010, I wrote down quite a bit of stuff I didn't get to. Maybe because I didn't work as hard at the beginning of the year as I did at the end of it, but I also think I acted more like throwing in everything and the kitchen sink, and I decided later what I really wanted to pick out of it. The bad point is it's easy to get overwhelmed and think I'm not getting much accomplished, even if I got a decent amount of stuff done.

Anyways, so what am I trying for in 2011? I'm going to read at least 24 books. I want to write and revise at least 3 novels, write and revise some novellas, query the novels and novellas that I write and revise, possibly attend a conference (I'm torn between it and a Caribbean family vacation cruise.), and keep up and get better with social networking.

So what are your goals?

Saturday, December 18

So close to The End!

Yippie! I am so close to the end of my WIP, I can taste it. Okay, maybe not... but still. I have about two scenes I will be finishing today to wrap up the story. Anything I'd do beyond that would be icing on the cake. Also, hubby and I are nearing the end of our Christmas shopping, which we've been getting done in record timing! Awesome! :-D

Well, that's about it for now. Maybe I'll update this later in my delirious excitement of typing The End. =) Woo!

EDIT: Yes! I have typed THE END! Woo! Although, I have a feeling the revisions on this one is going to be intense. Eeek!

Thursday, December 16

Visit me at Castles & Guns today!

Hey everyone, I'm at Castles & Guns today writing on "Finishing" in regards to staying focused on a manuscript (or however many you can handle at one time) and seeing it through to the end without getting overly distracted by other ideas and thoughts. Stop by, I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Tuesday, December 14

The Easiest Part of Writing?

Today's topic is rather challenging since while there are areas I've come a long way in, I still don't really consider them easy. So, I'm not sure there's really an "easiest" part in general. Ideas tend to be least difficult for me. Same goes for dialogue and an extent. Although, if there's some kind of important "secret information" that needs to be shared and discussed, I tend to scratch my head and frown.

Someone once said "writing is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration." I'm inclined to agree. I find I have so many ideas for novels and novellas, yet finishing the novel I'm currently working on has been a bit challenging. Why? It involves that large dose of perspiration. Some days I have to force myself to sit down and write, yet I can lean back and daydream for a moment and get the best idea for a new story I've ever had. And they all seem that way when I get them. =)

Okay, back to the subject at hand! Dialogue is enjoyable for me since it allows the characters to communicate and show their personalities through what they do, or don't, say. I've heard many people say they're not good with dialogue, but for me, it's all about listening to the voices in my head. Plot works in the same way. I don't struggle much with it, but I'm still learning what works for me in regards to pre-writing work (outlining, etc). Although, the actual concept and how a piece unfolds forms relatively (note the word relatively... lol!) smoothly in my head. Yet most of the time with outlining, I don't like to know too, too much because it takes away some of the suspense.

Anyways! What about you? What part of writing feels like second nature? Let me know!

Tuesday, December 7

Horror & Urban Fantasy 2011 Reading Challenge

Edit: So I didn't do great this year. There's always next year!

Okay, so here's my list. As with the Speculative Fiction Reading Challenge last year, I'll be updating this as I complete new novels, which won't begin until 2011. But I can't wait! Let me know if you're participating as well.

To Be Read:
  1. Dark and Stormy Knights Anthology
  2. On the Prowl Anthology
  3. Touch of Darkness by C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp
  4. On The Edge by Ilona Andrews
  5. Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
  6. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
  7. Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
  8. Fool Moon by Jim Butcher
  9. Hunt the Moon by Karen Chance
  10. Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
  11. Blood Noir by Laurell K. Hamilton
  12. The Burning Times by Jeanne Kalogridis
  13. Blood Drive by Jeanne C. Stein
Completed (in order of read):
  1. Dancing with Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas
  2. Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
  3. The Harlequin by Laurell K. Hamilton
  4. Vampires and Other Monstrous Creatures by Julius Pemberton-Smythe
  5. Night Life by Rob Thurman
  6. Storm Front by Jim Butcher
  7. WebMage by Kelly McCullough
  8. Touch of Madness by C.T. Adams & Cathy Clamp
  9. Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green
  10. Strange Candy by Laurell K. Hamilton
  11. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Sunday, December 5

A New Reading Challenge on the Horizon

Okay, so I had a plan to broaden my reading to step outside of urban fantasy and work on some of the many other genres of romance books I have. Contemporary romances, historical romances, romantic suspenses, etc. Guess I'm doing the exact opposite of that! I found this other awesome reading challenge hosted by that I can't resist. This year, I've been participating in the Speculative Fiction reading challenge, which worked nicely since I read quite a few paranormal romances, a romance with steampunk elements, a dystopian, a horror, and, of course, urban fantasies. I read some new authors, and so this year, I'll probably read the new releases by my favorites as well as delve into older ones by authors I found and liked this year. Woo!

The button is on the side with the sexy, redheaded vampire. If you'd like to sign up, go to

I'll put up the beginnings of my reading list in a day or so!

Saturday, December 4

Nano is over... What next?

What next? Good question! I'll share what I'm focusing on now.

1. First of all, I think we all know that with most novels these days (I think including most YAs) that 50,000 words isn't long enough to submit and think about getting an agent or an editor. My genre for this book is post-apocalyptic paranormal romance, which has required quite a lot of world building in addition to getting the story off the ground and going. Which leads to, December calls for finishing that novel. 80,000 words up to 100,000 (maybe more depending on genre) is where a person should set their aim. I personally am going for 80,000 and then hopefully adding more during revisions.

2. Taking a break! I'm going on vacation for the holidays at the end of the month to see my in-laws in Europe (since that's where they live). So I'll be able to have a good two weeks or so off from writing related activities. Which is good since then a person can see their writing better without being so absorbed into the world and problems.

3. Reading, reading, reading. This is part of taking a break because a good book is definitely a nice way to unwind, don't ya think? Besides, writers should read to help themselves with learning the craft and staying informed on what is currently being published. Plus, it's fun!

4. Thinking about my goals for the New Year, which my critique partner, Kinley Baker, and I have already starting working on actually. Writing can be a hobby, but if you're serious about getting published, it's best to have goals

5. And lastly, I'll jump into revisions at the beginning of the year for this novel. Since as great as someone thinks their novel is, they can always improve it. Boy, I can't wait to begin. I'm not sure I've ever been so excited to start revising before.
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