Friday, April 30, 2010

Guess Who?

I have to admit, I had a hard time from laughing as I drew this. *Still wiping tear*

This person is the proud owner of his very first book that debuted not too long from today. He has a keen fascination of swords, warriors and fighting. He posts the funniest pics on his blog and has a beautiful wife.

Uh oh . . . I think I gave it ALL away. Can you guess who he is????

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Run A w a y MCs . . . !

There was a particular scene in my Rockstar MS where I had my mind made up to have one of my main characters (MC) act a certain way when Moggie (the hero) revealed a truth about himself.

Well, as I wrote, that particular MC took hold of the situation and behaved SOOOO differently, it literally took me off guard!

I know that MCs come to life and direct the plot, but this was so weird. But I let her take control because that's how she was supposed to act during that revealing moment.

Think about it. Really. For those of you who have studied psychology, how do you explain this? How do you explain the fact that fictional characters take on a life of their own like sentient beings? Is it that writers truly are insane--the multiple personalities that haunt us all the time? The voices in our heads?

We'd be thrown head first into an asylum in the good ole days if we ever said so much a word about the . . . voices.

(photos found here and here)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Join Michelle's Giveaway!

Michelle Ashmen Bell, author of

Summer in Paris,

is holding a giveaway over at her blog!

The entries are painless. The book


(Photos found here)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Researching Rock Star

I've spent, probably about ten hours of research. Most likely more.

Moggie (Morgan Taylor), is the singer and bass guitar of his band called MezzTup. His brother the lead guitarist. There is the rhythm guitarist (Lyss), Mirah is at the keyboard and Block at the drums. Morgan plays the acoustic guitar. He is left handed, but he can play a regular guitar by just switching it over. It's the right hand that hurts if you're left handed.

He learns to play a
double-neck guitar (bass and lead).

I've learned tons about groupies. They are people (namely girls) who follow a band everywhere. (They pay for themselves), unless the band wants them to ride with them in their tour bus. They are called band aides, or road wives.
I came across a site, written by groupies, that lists every singer and band member they've been with, listing intimate detail that made me shudder.

I rented many documentaries on rock bands and their lifestyles. They live however they please and aren't afraid to swear. They get lots of free stuff from businesses where they are catered to. They have flier wars. There is hardly any space on the strip in Hollywood, so they post their fliers over other band's fliers. It's a riot.

(I really wonder if they've tried human bulletin boards?)

I've learned a lot about cancer. My heroine, Beth Leann Bennett, has malignant melanoma. That is skin cancer, and if it isn't treated, it will spread to other organs.

There are two strong opposing forces regarding chemotherapy. Some say it shortens your life while others claim it cures. I've wondered what I'd choose if it it ever came to it. I'd make a choice and take it to Heavenly Father.

Beth has this harness safety system to keep her from falling off her horse. Falling could prove fatal for her). I've done research to see if it exists, and I found it!!

She lives on a small ranch outside the city limits of L.A., off of Mulholland Highway.

I've discovered a wondrous beach in California where Beth takes Morgan. There, he sings his first song to her.

It's been a real experience, researching and interviewing.

Tell me your ventures in research. What are your main sources? Books, internet, people, documentaries? How has it changed your perspective as you wrote your MS?

(Portrait is how imagine my MC. Double neck guitar found here, other images found here)

Monday, April 26, 2010

LDStorymakers Conference!

Wow . . . It was filled with so much wonder and friends and fun! I'll post as many pictures here and talk about the other stuff another day! Enjoy!

Caroll, Heather, Eliza, Yamile, Emile, and me at YA bootcamp.
We had sooo much fun meeting each other and sharing our WIPs.

Sheila Staley and me at the Whitneys

Double take! (She is one of the coolest people there!)

Fun at Borders Bookstore with Kimberly Job and Mary Campbell.
Two cool ladies!

Michelle Jefferies, Paulette and me!
We make a crazy bunch . . .

Jenn Wilks and me ready for the Whitney Dinner.

Me with Rebecca and her cutie pie! She let me hold him.
*Sigh* He is so sweet.

Me and Michelle Teacress.
She is an awesome friend!

Me with Laura Elliot.
She's such a crazy cool friend--you'll love her!

Me with Jenni James--she dropped by to say hello!

Here's David West. I can't wait to read his book and post a review on it!
It was wonderful seeing you again!

I finally get to meet Darvell Hunt!
He's such a neat guy . . .

I finally found Danyelle Ferguson and got a pic with her!
She's such an awesome person!

Me and Christine Bryant.
It's always good to see old friends!

Me and Cathy Witbeck.
She's such a wonderful friend. I'm so happy to have met her in person!

Me and Carolyn Vawdrey. She's such a sweet person.
It was great seeing her again. As always. ;)

Me and Bethany Wiggins.
So happy to meet the legend in person. She's one cool lady!

Donald Carey and me meeting for the first time.
What a party we had at Borders!

Danyelle Leafty! She's such a pretty and sweet friend.

C.S. Bezas and me loitering at the Marriott's Lobby.
It was so much fun getting to know her!

Angie Lofthouse and I finally get a picture together!
It was crazy trying to track down all my new friends. :)

Ali Cross and me.
Isn't she cute?

Congrats, First Chapter Contest Palz!

Ali Cross


Christine Bryant!!


At the Whitney Awards Dinner:

Gary and Nichole Giles at my table.

Christine Bryant (I think she's going to take a picture, what do you think?)

There's Tristi Pinkston and her peeps-->
(can you see my table behind them?)

Darlene and Asa

I know, I know . . .
I just can't help but show off how gorgeous
Sheila and I look in our little black dresses!

Can't wait till next years LDStorymaker's conference!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Sunday, my BLOGGIE pals!

(photo found here)

"The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident."

By Charles Lamb

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Body Language Blogfest!

Harley D. Palmer from Labotomy of a Writer is holding the most thought-provoking blogfest I've ever encountered.


I pored over every one of my MSs trying to find a scene with the most body language with NO dialogue, and NO internalization. The visceral reactions? Well, we could easily see that through body language, right?

What a challenge you posed on us, Harley! Whew . . .

Here it is, an excerpt from my one of my WIPs. Chengral--a story where a ruthless warrior is sent by his queen from another world to destroy their ancestral colony taking place in the Viking Age.

“Halla!” a voice called, strong and harsh.

Airk squeaked and darted behind Halla as she rose to her feet, giving Chengral her back. A feeble attempt to protect him. She clutched the child behind her.

A wave of heat rushed through Chengral. That face. He remembered them among his attackers.

The man spoke swift words, reaching around Halla for the little child. Airk screamed, and struggled against the clutching hand.

Chengral whipped his tail and flexed his wings with a snarl, the binds strong and fast and cruel. The brutal desire to defend both woman and child burned. He trembled, furious thoughts ceasing his heart into stillness. His hands and legs bound, injuries acute. Being a fierce warrior in his queen’s regiments meant nothing. Nothing if he could not shield the innocent from injury.

Halla screamed at the man. She beat his chest, fighting to pry Airk away as he dragged the child toward Chengral. A distorted expression. The man bent over, and spat into Chengral’s face. Three sharp blows left him gasping.

The man watched him, laughing hard and deep and long.

Airk yanked at its arm, but could not free itself. It wailed and kicked as the man whirled around and dragged the little child away. Halla shrieked and bent down as she tried to lift her child from the dirt, but the man kicked her face.

She stumbled with a grunt. Airk bawled, reaching out little hands.

It was if the steam from his world had vented inside his skull. Searing. Deadly. Dangerous. Chengral roared. He battled against the binds despite the anguish he faced. He remembered how Halla had screamed out in terror for her Airk as the child clung powerlessly from the cliff’s ledge.

Fear and desperation and urgency clutched him, but the restraints refused.

The man flung Airk away and marched to Chengral. His face contorted with rage. Halla staggered after the child.

Chengral ground his teeth and raised burning eyes. His body searing from every wound. He braced himself for another kick.

The man reached behind his cape and pulled out a crossbow. A grin slid over his face. Amused. Cruel. Twisted. He lifted the weapon, the sharp point to Chengral’s eyes.

Halla cried out and hurled herself into the man. The arrow whistled into Chengral’s shoulder. He howled as he saw the two crumple.

Airk wailed, and darted to Chengral. His little hands unable to uproot the arrow from his shoulder. Chengral growled, and braced himself from the pain. The strain of his distress forced the wound in his ribs to cascade blood over his arm.

He gaped at it, remembering that the natives had red blood while he had black.

There you go! I hope you had fun reading it!
This is how I envisioned Chengral--->
Should he have a tail? I realized that I didn't put one on him
in the MS like I did when I edited this excerpt for the blogfest!

Ooops . . .

(behind the scenes: my original excerpt was 370 words while this is 449--wow! I hacked and filed and added visceral reactions when it felt dull and lifeless!)

Friday guest was Karen Hoover!

Photo found here

Friday, April 23, 2010

Follower Fridays

She has been writing for over ten years, and is a very proud mommy of her recently debuted book.

She is also a proud mommy of 2 kidlets who are a few of the cutest boys I've ever seen!

Her love of writing shows in her work and how she reaches out to aspiring authors.

Have you guessed?

Hint: I bet she wishes she can shape shift into a wolf! ;)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Reunion TIME!

There's nothing better than seeing old faces. New faces and way crazy faces!

It's LDStorymakers Conference time! Time to learn and connect and grow!


I can't wait to be surrounded by crazy people who obey the voices in their head and record their tales into books.

I'll be heading out while the kidlets are at school, circuit part of Utah to pick up my bud, Kay, and then jaunt over to Provo!

The funny thing is that a year ago, I felt like a bumbling newbie among the published authors, aspiring authors and exploring writers. Funny, hu?

I'm not published, but I sure feel like my wings are just as full grown as a published author's, they've just not been tried yet!

How was your first experience mingling among published authors? Did they intimidate you? Or did you feel like part of the family?

(I'll update you more next week when I have time to visit--please forgive me if I can't make it to your blog or comment during these next four days--I luv ya'll, I promise. I plan to make it up to you by holding another fan-art contest!)

Photo found here

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mold, Shape, GO!

My friend Carolina from Carol's Prints was expressing her wonder in having to do headshots as a published author and if branding is necessary and how she feels all squished inside a mold.

This inspired today's post.

At the start of my career, I had mixed feelings about this. Rules. Rules. Rules. We are being molded, beaten and shaped to please editors, agents, publishers, readers and more. (I'm thinking there's no wonder writers are so needy!)

I feel that being an author is one of the bravest things anyone can do because, in so many ways, it takes away our identity. (The rules tell us how to write). No POV changes. No adverbs. No purple prose...

A commenter from Roland's blog had so much about rules and purple prose and how we need to write to please others.

I think that having a brand is important because that's how our fans will know us and find us and love us!

What is your author brand? How did you deal with squeezing yourself into that mold as you started out?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Rock Star!

Hi everyone! It just hit me today. I've always wanted to know how other writers progress in their block-by-block building of every novel they write, like a tour, you know?

So I'll do just that.

I wrote a story called Rock Star, roughly a year ago. It finished at a whopping 26,442 word count (a skimpy 109 pages!) A real skeleton. Yikes! At that time, Melissa Cunningham critiqued it for me and I tucked it away. Uh, yeah, she was the first and only one to have read it.

I wrote 2 books after that, and finally decided that it needed my TLC.

I submitted Rock Star to my rockin' crit group, Scrawl, October 2009. The comments were enlightening and eye-opening. (I need to change the ending entirely.) I was ready to take on the challenge. After a three months (NaNo in November, December were too busy for edits, and I worked on crit one of Scrawl's MSs), I decided to hit my edits hard.

At the time, I thought the story a wild ride. I loved it. But ever since bringing it out from its crypt, I find myself cringing with embarrassment. I've been hacking, grafting, weeding, cinching, eliminating, and rewriting the novel to death.

It's been a bloody battle . . .

Now I'm at 98,782 words, 372 pages long. A-mazing! I'm pretty close to finishing with my revising! So happy with the refining process of decheesifying the cheese (ugh).

I've grown pretty close to my MCs. They've just bloomed to life. I've found myself crying, laughing, and cheering them.

I calculate 3 more chapters and I'm done my rewrites.

Then I plan to go back tighten it, clean up adjectives, and use Margie Lawson's techniques on blowing the reader's minds away, after which I'll submit it to Scrawl again. Then I'll clean it up and . . . submission time! Whoohoo!

Okay, but before I do that I need work on my synopsis--Yippee! Everyone's favorite part of the entire writing process.

I actually did a hunt to help clarify how Moggie (Morgan Taylor) my MC looks like, and I found it!

Where are you at in your WIP? Have you hunted photos that suit your MCs?
(photo of Michael Praed found here.)

To read a scene, go here