Tuesday, January 26, 2010

No Teaser, but I haz won a blog award!! And u can too!

When I started following Delphin, the Romantic Query Letter and Happily Ever After, I was amazed at all the great artwork she pulled into her blog. So, how honored am I that she has bestowed a Creative Scibbler Award on me. I myself am to pass it on to five peeps, and since I'm a writing rebel, I just have to pass it on to seven! LOL

First, here's the rules:

*Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends

*Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

*Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

*Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

* Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Hannah Wydey at Bitten Everywhere

Amna Mohdin at Amna Writes

Thanks again, and here's to all the winners!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Reasons for Not Blogging: Revisions and EpicPuppyFail!

This Duke, aka Epic Puppy Fail!

So, I have been quite remiss in the blogging--I didn't even do a Teaser Tuesday this week. FOR SHAME! Yes, I have unfortunately had bigger fish to fry. First being my grammy got a new puppy. The woman is eighty and hasn't had a dog since the 60's, but when the lawn man said he couldn't keep the puppy, she offered to take him. Please keep in mind the last dog she had in the 60's was a Daschund and this puppy is clearly a hound/Boxer mix. It's got some huge paws, which pretty much indicate it's gonna be a biggie. Somewhere down the road I have a feeling I'm going to be getting another dog. But he is a cutie, and I can't help but want to spend a lot of time with him. So, yes, since Monday, it has been puppyfail.

But there's something else looming over my head. REVISIONS! Yep, the dirty R word. Normally, I don't mind revisions. It's just we're talking about revisions on The Guardians. Please remember that I began writing TG in November of 08 and finished in January 09. Then began the epic journey of querying TG that resulted in practically continuous revisions from January until September, one offer from a less than reputable agent, two almost offers/lead me ons, a revise and resubmit from a small pub, etc. before I got my offer on DHtP.

My agent loves TG--the story, the characters, etc, but she feels there some things we could tighten, tweak, etc, to make it as marketable as possible since it's a fantasy novel. So, cue the Whitesnake music cuz, "Here I Go Again On My Own!" LOL

I'm really hoping to wrap up it up by this coming Friday. That's when I'm leaving for my writer's retreat weekend in Tennessee. I'm so excited!!

So, here's hoping for more bloggin' in the future!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The "HUH?" Factor in the Writing Game

I’ve been amazed lately at the sheer volume of “gray” material in business that is supposed to be so black and white. Writers have it engrained in their minds that you do A correctly and without blemish to get to B, and should you dare to break the rules, you’re going downtown to Chinatown! But after time, most people realize how contradictory the rules, the advice, the path, etc. really are.

Some writer's blogs are filled with nothing but do’s and don’ts. They are kinda the publishing world’s code of ethics enforcers. And sometimes that can be good and sometimes it can be bad. So, you read a blog about how your online persona must be squeaky clean. Don’t dis other authors, don’t rant about the negatives of a book you disliked, and if you do, woe be unto you and your book! So, you vow then and there to never say a negative again. Then not five minutes later you get on twitter where pubbed authors are dissing genres of books, themes that have been overdone, etc. Part of you wants to put on your best sing-song voice and say, “Somebody’s in trouble!” But then the rational side goes, “Well, if they’re doing it without fear or persecution, who’s to say I can’t?

Please don’t infer from this that I’m saying to go put on your “______author Sux!” t-shirt and burn a book or something. I’m just trying to grasp what is right and what is wrong. You have to understand that in my personal life, I’ve always been a rule follower. I mean, we’re talking a serious Goody-Two shoes! Part of it was how I was raised and the other came from the fact I am a strong person of faith. So, it’s a big step for me to even be sitting here questioning “authority” so to speak. But here’s some other things that have come up lately.

How many times in YA Literature especially do we hear word count harped on? There seems to be a Goldilocks mentality of not too short and most certainly not too long. You have to find a “just right”. But then lately YA’s over 100K(a heinous no no!) have received a multi-book pub deal and become agented. So what gives? Is there a word count manifesto or not? What would have happened to these two authors had they constantly listened to the finger wagers of the world? Who’s to say?

When I was first querying my YAUF, I read an agent’s blog that gave critiques. One query she praised and even requested was written IN FIRST PERSON AS THE CHARCTER(insert shriek of horror) Yes, the ultimate cardinal sin of querying had not only been committed, but it had been SUCCESSFUL! So, are there query rules or not?

Some agents don’t want you posting teasers on your blog; some do.

Some agents don’t want you to post chapter snips on blogs or websites; some don’t mind if you have them.

One blog tells you not to trash talk authors; another blog has a quite humorous comic of writers.

In one breath several people will share their pub rejections somewhat anonymously while two posts down people will voice the negatives and potential career suicide for doing this.

Some agents caution their clients not to mention the sub process at all in blogs or online forums. However, some agents don’t mention it or caution against it.

I guess this blog is to serve as a cautionary tale. Sure, read up on advice on blogs and forums, but never take it as the 100% gospel truth because it isn’t. Author A might tell you this while Author B might say something completely different. Both of them got to where they are today, so somewhere along the way BOTH methods work.

So, at the end of the day, I, myself, will be following a quote from the movie Elizabeth I, “I promise to act as my conscience dictates”, which is really all any of us can do.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Teaser Tuesday from The Guardians

So, I talked to my wonderful agent today about where we'll be going with The Guardians. I've got some lovely revisions ahead, but I also had some great ideas today of ways to achieve some of the suggestions. Because of that, I decided to tease from TG, well, actually give you the opening. Here's to it giving me the momentum I need!

We are the watchers—the keepers of things both seen and unseen. The unexplainable and inexplicable like the prickly sensation that runs up your spine, causing the hairs on your neck to rise. We are the feeling of comfort that wraps itself around you in times of grief and trouble. We are the guiders and protectors of the Host—the Guardians.

While we were tracking close on their heels, the mother and daughter hadn’t noticed us. Our shoes sloshed through the dingy puddles leftover from the morning’s rain. Striding across the deserted parking lot, the mother and daughter were engrossed in conversation. They knew nothing of us, but we know their names. The mother, who was edging towards forty, was Victoria; the fourteen-year-old daughter, and baby of the family, was Hannah. With their blonde hair and crystal blue eyes, they were mirror images of each other.

While on the outskirts of their conversation, we felt its light banter. Words like “crush” and “cutest boy in school” floated back to us. Then Victoria teased Hannah about something, causing Hannah’s to flush the color of her red shirt. At her daughter’s visible embarrassment, Victoria nudged Hannah playfully. It brought a smile to my face.

Then fear pierced us.

We felt the gang members’ pain long before they shuffled around the corner. Searing and dark, it hung around us like a cloak blocking out the May sun. Their eyes glowed amber, the hue of souls polluted by drugs and alcohol. Multicolored artwork and track marks tattooed their arms. In their animalistic state, they didn’t see the mother and daughter as people. To these animals, they were the next fix, the next trip. Their last high fading, the thugs’ bodies twitched for relief from their suffering. Gold wedding bands and glittering diamonds meant quick cash.

A desperate sob rose in my throat. I fought the urge to scream at the mother and the daughter. Why had they parked in such a place? Why weren’t they running to their car instead of ambling along, joking about who was the cutest Jonas brother and what were they going to have for dinner? I wanted to rail at them for being so na├»ve, so trusting. For all the little inconsequential details that altered the fate of our lives. But I couldn’t. The line between guiding and interfering was clearly drawn, and I couldn’t cross it.

As if to reiterate that fact, Gabriel, our leader, touched my arm. I glanced into his dark eyes, and he shook his head. “It isn’t our fight, Elijah.”

I bowed my head as the cold truth washed over me. I could only watch helplessly as it spiraled towards confrontation.

At the sound of the gang’s hurried footsteps, Victoria glanced over her shoulder. I saw the fear in her eyes and so did the gang.

“Mom?” Hannah questioned.

“Keep walking, Hannah!”

Victoria fumbled in her purse for the keys. One of the gang members cut in front of her before they could reach the car.

“Gimme your purse, Senora!” an angry teenager demanded. His clothes were ragged and dirty, and his tan skin pulled tautly over the bones in his face, illustrating how he only fed his hunger for drugs.

Victoria hesitated, noticing the silver gleam of a gun.

“I ain’t kidding, Senora! Give us the damn purse!” She thrust the bag into his waiting hands. “And the ring!”

Torment replaced the fear. “Please, don’t take it! It’s my wedding ring!”

“I don’t give a shit!”

“But it--

A single bullet tore through Victoria’s chest. As she collapsed, a crimson river flowed out onto the pavement.

“Mama!” Hannah screamed. She fell to the ground, burying her face in her mother’s lap.

A skinny guy with a greasy ponytail stared in astonishment. “Dude, what did you do?”

“Let’s go!” another cried.

As two of them turned, one spoke up. “But she’s seen us.”


“Waste her,” the leader murmured.

At his words, Hannah snapped her head up. “Please don’t hurt me!”

The leader ignored her cries. As he raised his gun, Hannah shielded her face with her arms. Saving Victoria’s life had always been out of our hands. The reason we even stood here watching the scene unfold was understanding this moment would be vital for our mission’s success. This one tragic moment would be like a rock thrown into a pond, its ripples would be felt throughout the entire Thomas family.

It was then that Sophie broke away from us. Time crawled to a standstill as she stepped in front of the waiting bullet. Any other person would have cringed or trembled. But not Sophie. With a steely determination, she stared into the eyes of the killer.

The gun clicked.

Over and over, he pulled the trigger. With each misfire, Hannah jerked violently. Finally, the leader dropped his gun.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Book Challenge *cue the Rocky music*

Yes, ladies and gentleman, I've decided to do book challenge this year. Some of the gals on Absolutewrite gave me the idea. Last year, they challenged themselves to read 100 books. So, I thought, "Hey, that's cool!" But in the spirit of competition, I thought, "Well, crap, better up the stakes a little!" So, since I'm hoping, praying, and believin' that 2010 is gonna be the best that's ever been, I've decided to read 110 books. I'll be listing the books and their covers on the right hand side of the blog. I'm also posting reviews on my Goodreads page.

I gave my dear sweet grandmother, Big Mama(even though she's a little woman) or Grammy, as my AWer friends know her, twelve books for Christmas. She loves biographies, and I lucked up finding some bargain ones at B &N. Srsly, she's already read three of them! The woman is an eighty year old reading machine! So, I feel like she'll help me out with the challenge.

Who else is up for it? I'll meet ya in the ring!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Teaser Tuesday from The Guardians

Howdy kiddies! Yeah haven't blogged in a week. I'm the epic of suck! I've got some good ones in mind for the rest of the week, and it's my New Year's resolution to blog more and read more blogs! So, today's teaser comes from YA UF The Guardians, my angels in high school book, and it's where sweet angel, Elijah, has a confrontation with the demon in disguise, Lucius.