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Showing posts from July, 2011

Books/Movies/Summer....OH MY!

What a fabulous summer this has been. Yes, I said "has". Sadly, I am back at work on Monday. To be honest - I'm kinda looking forward to it - the structure, getting this set of a good year, etc. But, I'm also sad to see my lazy days of summer slip on by.

I set out to spend the summer doing four major things: Catching up on books in my TBR pileSeeing some of the FAB blockbuster movies - especially HP 7.2Chillaxin' with the family and catching up on some of the to-do listFinishing revisions on my current projectYea, I was seriously OVER REACHING!@!*?
Yes, I did read 7 books - all fabulous. And yes, I saw HP 7.2 (BEYOND EPIC), got caught up on my fav TV shows on movies on DVD, and chillaxed with the family. I also got the entire to-do list done (with the exception of the garden).
Productive, yes?
What I did not quite finish - my revisions.
I made loads of progress. More importantly, I really like the product. It is turning out more haunting, more thrilling, and . .…

Imaginary Girls - a deliciously dark tale.

WOW! Can you believe it's Thursday already?? I've been very busy in party prep for my teenager's epic birthday bash this weekend (thus the lack of post yesterday)...

But, I did manage to find a little time for some reading.

Before I get to my Bookanista shout out, however, check out what the other Bookanista's have on tap:

Elana Johnson point you to HUMAN .4
Lisa and Laura Roecker glories in THE GODDESS TEST
Shannon Messenger delves into THE FUTURE OF US with a giveaway
Carolina Valdez Miller shivers over THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE with a giveaway
Scott Tracey and Shana Silver are wild about WILDEFIRE
Jessi Kirby celebrates A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE
Corrine Jackson sneaks into SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD
Stasia Ward Kehoe embraces ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE

On to my Bookanista Shout out for IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Summa

Release Date: June 14, 2011

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
Chloe's older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can't be captured or caged.…

Birthdays, Awards, And TMI

To start off this post, I have to give my baby a HUGE shout out! My Teen, Fabiana turns the big 1-5 today!!! I seriously CAN NOT believe she is going to be driving, graduating, leaving - all within the next few years. Wow...I distinctly remember being pregnant with her. 


For those wondering, she is celebrating with a fabulous party over the weekend. And yes, I'll be tweeting during that time, in search of a little sanity, no doubt.

Now, on to the awards and TMI part. Ali Cross is a sweetheart and gave me some awards and other stuff. So, are about to get inundated with way too much info about me!

First - the awards. 

According to the rules, I guess I am supposed to tell you 7 random things about me:
I am strangely obsessed with comments. IDK, seeing my inbox full of comments from you guys just makes me smile. Daily.I love my job - but every single year, at the end of summer, I have a mini-panic attack at the mere thought of going back to work and trying …

Too Many Minds...

So, a few weeks ago I was chatting with two of my favorite peeps (shocking I know!). I was frustrated with my progress - or lack of progress - on my new project and was venting. Both of my friends, at different times, and in different conversations, told me the same basic thing.

Don't Overthink.

See, I am a thinker. I think about every detail in my stories. I can see potential outcomes of particular situations many steps ahead. I can envision multiple outcomes to any situation. And my creative process tends to work in reverse of many people - from the finished product backwards to the first step.

While this is a great way of looking at things most of the time, there is one major hiccup...

I absolutely tend to overthink, overplan, overanticipate. And as I pursue my writerly dreams, that can be a HUGE stumbling block, preventing me from focusing on the moment at hand in favor of the possible outcomes down the road.

While I talked this issue through with one of my friends, I remember…

Show Your Fears A Little Love Too!

Happy Friday Everyone! I can't believe the month of July is almost over - crazy, you know! Today I want to talk about fear. After the two posts earlier this week looking at some of the more common "sins" of writing - predictability, sloth, gluttony, disrespect, haste, denial, and abandonment - a common thing came up in the comments and emails I received -


I think every writer has had a moment, or a million, in which the fear of something has consumed almost everything else. Maybe it has even prevented that writer from moving forward, querying that project, emailing that agent, etc.

Personally, I battle with fear on an almost daily basis in one form or another:

What if I can't figure out these revisions?What if no one follows my new blog?What if I NEVER find an agent/editor/publisher in fiction?What if, what if, what if.The fear of failure (and success, actually) can literally choke the air from my lungs at times, throwing me into a place so dark, and so scary I …

Another Amazing Debut - The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

HAPPY THURSDAY everyone! I hope you are all enjoying a fab summer with lots of fab books! I can't believe I am back at work in a week...A WEEK! Oh well, no point it stressing over that. Much more fun to talk about books. 

But before I get to my Bookanista shout out, check out what the other Bookanistas have on tap:

Elana Johnson raves about BLOOD RED ROAD
Lisa and Laura Roecker shivers over A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE
Carolina Valdez Miller gushes over THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS + a giveaway
Bethany Wiggins cheers for CHIME
Rosemary Clement-Moore is enraptured by  ENTWINE
Stasia Ward Kehoe applauds THE PREDICTEDS
Scott Tracey praises SUPERNATURALLY

On to my Bookanista Shout out for THE NEAR WITCH by Victoria Schwab

Release Date: August 2, 2011

Basic Blurb: (from Amazon)
The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

And there …

Haste, Denial, Abandonment....yes, I AM talking about writing!

Here we are with part 2 of my recap of the sins of writing. Yesterday, I covered predictability, sloth, gluttony, and disrespect.
Today we'll cover the last three.

Sin #5 - HASTE - I am SO darn guilty of this one. You know, sending out your ms before it's ready. Now, I'm not just talking about sending it to agents or editors early - I mean your readers too. I am a firm believer in NOT burning out readers with multiple reads. Not only is it, well, rude. But you will never get as good a read as you do the first time. So, be careful about burning through readers - and always save a fresh set of eyes for the end!

Sin #6 -DENIAL - I think all of us can come up with reasons for WHY we aren't where we want to be with writing. Maybe we haven't gotten the agent/book deal/whatever we hoped for. Or maybe we are too busy with children/day job/other responsibilities. Or. Or. Or
Maybe you are exactly where you want to be - but you aren't growing as an author anymore, your time…

The Deadly Sins - Pt 1

As promised, I am recapping the Amy Koss workshop I attended a few weeks ago. The focus of the workshop was the "7 Deadly Sins of Writing". With each, she offered advice, an exercise, something to drive home the concepts.

Needless to say - this was a great workshop.

This post focuses on the first few sins discussed.

Sin #1 - PREDICTABILITY - Personally, this is a HUGE one to me! I don't know about you, but I do a lot of reading. And you know what I've found - formulaic stories that are very VERY predictable. Girl feels like an outcast, only to find out she has super natural abilities. She meets a bad boy, falls in love, and must choose between bad boy and good guy friend. Oh, and did I mention, she saves the world from good and evil.
Sound familiar? Yea, I thought so.
Wanna make sure YOUR story doesn't fall into this trap? Tell a friend the opening scene and initial problem in your story and see if they can guess the plot from there. If they can, watch m…


Hi everyone! It's time to talk about writing. Specifically, our characters. I went to a fabulous workshop conducted by Amy Koss several weeks ago. I'm going to be recapping everything over the next few posts, but one thing in particular really stood out for me...

Use character traits to "show" your characters.

In particular, use the main attributes of the characters to show, rather than tell, the story. For example, if your character is "lazy", don't describe him as lazy. Instead have him speak and move and act in a lackadaisical way.

I know, nothing new here. This is stuff we have heard. But honestly, it is NOT something I do as well as I could.

To help "teach" the point, Amy had us make a list of our primary and secondary characters in a current WiP. We then had to come up with one or two words to describe the main attributes of the character. She suggested having this list written or printed where we could refer to it often as we revise our…

Blog Tour Fun with Eisley Jacobs

We end this fun week with a stop on the Virtual Tour for Eisley Jacob's book BORN TO BE A DRAGON.

Take it away Eisley:

First off, thank you, Christine, for hosting me on your blog today! When Christine emailed me, I don’t think she had any idea her Diversity Week would fall during my first week of launch! So it’s quite awesome and ironic, since today’s post is all about how I got from Point A -- the finished manuscript -- to Point Z -- independent publishing.  

I started on this independent publishing road back in November 2010. I’d decided to stop querying (after the 80th time) and do some research on this enigma called independent publishing (self pub). Who was going indie? How was it going? What are the advantages? Any disadvantages? Immediately people began popping into my field of vision -- folks who had always chosen this route and others who were at the end of their first launch. Because the writing community rocks, people had no qualms when it came to answering my questions. …

Rebecca Gives her spin on self-publishing

Today brings another interview - this time with Rebecca Knight and her experiences with self-publishing:

CF: Why did you begin writing?
RK: I actually have been writing since before I could write! When I was 5 I used to draw “books” telling alternate versions of Peter Pan with myself as a main character, etc. Then, I dictated stories to my parents until they insisted I practice my six-year-old scrawl and write down my own tales.
I’ve always written stories and poems, but the one who convinced me to try to write a novel was my husband, back in 2005-2006. I didn’t believe in myself like he believed in me for several months, but when I did, I sat down, and wrote Legacy of the Empress.  It’s awesome to have such a great support system at home J.
CF: Tell me a little about your personal writing process? RK: I’m not going to lie—while I was writing Legacy I learned a lot about what NOT to do. I swear I rewrote that book at least 5-6 times while I was learning how to craft a good story.  Now, I’…

Introducing Michelle Raynor - I mean Michelle McLean...

HAPPY THURSDAY everyone! I hope you are all enjoying a fab summer with lots of fab books! I know I am. Actually, today is more about waiting in line to see Harry Potter (going to the midnight show...), but I will be reading as I wait!
Enough about me, in keeping with my self-pub series this week, I am doing a little interview with Michelle Raynor who just released her first e-picture book into the world. Who is Michelle Raynor? Well most of you know her better as Michelle McLean, author of Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers.
So what makes a published author with an agent make the decision to branch into picture books through self-publishing? I decided to ask her and find out more about her decisions:

About the PB:
CF: Why self pub a PB - tell me the story of your motivation behind it? MR:With self-pubbing becoming easier and easier, especially the rise of the e-book, I just had a “why not?” moment. I’ve been writing picture books for years and have a file full of manuscripts. But few…

The Road to Self-Publishing - An Interview with Heather McCorkle

Today brings another interview - this time with Heather McCorkle and why she made the decision to forge her own path:

CF: Tell me a little about your thoughts on nontraditional publication and
 diversity (in publishing)

HM: Non-traditional publication, or self-publishing and small presses with different publishing models, wasn't always something I've believed in. I read a few self-published novels that were awful, then I gave up on the idea. There is no gatekeeper, no quality control to make sure the novels are up to par (save for in the small presses). Then over the years I started reading a lot of really bad traditionally published novels, some from the Big 6 publishers. My belief in them started to wane. Thankfully, times are changing and choices are opening up to writers that have never been available before. When I found Abbott Press and realized they would have quality control and a mark of quality offered to the best novels by Writer's Digest, I knew change was coming,…