Attention Authors!!

Calling all writers! You won’t want to miss this amazing resource. Between the beautiful cover, Kathy Ide provides everything you’ll need to proofread like a pro. I get so frustrated when I have to Google rules for grammar and spelling . . . Having this book next to my computer while I write, is such a blessing, and a time saver. Go grab your copy today!


Turning Point

     I recently picked up The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkein. It’s been a long time since I’ve read the book. But with two of the three Hobbit movies out, I figured it was time to read it again. The Hobbit is such a delight–twist of phrases, quirky banter, action, and of course all the wonderful characters: goofy/silly mixed in with the serious. 

“He guessed as well as he could, and crawled along for a good way, till suddenly his hand met what felt like a tiny ring of cold metal lying on the floor of the tunnel. It was a turning point in his career, but he did not know it.” -from Chapter V: Riddles in the Dark


     These sentences struck me, and got me thinking about the turning points in my writing career–Turning points that I didn’t know would be turning points when they occurred. As I look back, there have been several already. 

Turning Points (that I know about now)

#1: Going to my first writers conference. This started me on my path of “serious writing.” My path has been filled with tears of frustration and joy. I’ve seen growth in every area of my life. It’s taught me much about patience, but at the same time it’s been crowded with many, many writing friends and “bouncers” that have made  the journey exciting.

#2: Handing BOUND (my YA urban fantasy) to my dad, and asking him to edit it. This was one of the hardest things for me to do. My dad is the one who cultivated in me a love for reading and writing. I knew that if he read my WIP, he would let me know honestly what he thought—in a nice way he’d tell me to take up knitting or to stick with things that I was good at, singing and giving him grandchildren . . . But I got past my fears and handed him my WIP. (He did tell me later that he had been hesitant to read my work as well. He didn’t want to have to tell me it was bad . . .) But to my relief, and my dad’s great joy, he LOVED my writing. It actually surprised him by how good and funny/quirky it was. (WOOT!) His style of editing was to read BOUND out loud to me. This was a journey in and of itself. It was quite embarrassing at times to hear my dad read my book out loud–especially when it’s written in first person, from the point of view of a seventeen year old girl. (I made him read the kissing scenes to himself. I wouldn’t have survived that . . .)

#3: Finding a wonderful editor. I have the best editor in the world! She’s amazing and super- talented! (Oh, and she just happens to be one of my best friends.) She is one of those people, like my dad, that I knew would be lovingly-honest with me. I was scared to give it to her. But I’d gained some courage since I had survived my dad’s editing. She told me right up front that she would tell my what she loved, and what she didn’t love, she’d help me make great!

I’m still on my journey. And, who knows, I may be able to look back in a few days or a few weeks and find another event that actually was a turning point.

**How about you? And events that have turned into turning points for you? I’d love to read about them.   



Writing word of the day = AGAIN!
I have to edit this chapter, AGAIN.
I have to reformat page numbers, AGAIN.
I have to rewrite this chapter, AGAIN.
And all you want to do is get to the FUN part!

This clip of Diego De La Vega teaching/training Alejandro Murrieta (The Mask of Zorro), is a pretty good/accurate portrayal of the writer’s life. As an eager “beginner” in the serious writing world, you see it as easy. “The pointy end goes in the other guy!” You know how to spell. You can write complete sentences. You have great characters with the perfect names. You’re ready. You’ll be published in no time. Publishing houses would have to be completely insane not to publish your book!
But then you learn there are “rings.” There are “levels” that you have to pass through before you can get to the center and finally get your novel published. Honing your craft isn’t an easy task. It’s aggravating, slow (extreme patience builder!), and makes gambler/horse racing look like a stable career choice. (At least it’s faster!)
The process is taking FOREVER, but you love it and wouldn’t give it up. (You tried to give it up, but you’re family was ready to check you in to the loony bin–safer for everyone if you just write!)
So you do. You finish your tenth draft. You’ve edited and re-edited. There’s nothing more you can add to it, nothing that’s wrong with it. Your characters will be like Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett–remembered and loved 200 years later! And then you submit it to an agent. You get a nice note that says: “I like it, but it’s just not ready yet.” So you hire an editor. You rework some things and resubmit to another agent. And that agent says: “Do it AGAIN!”
The cycle continues. Submit = write it AGAIN!
And then when you finally reach the point where you have an agent and a contract with a publishing house, what word do you think you’ll hear? Yep. AGAIN! And you’ll probably hear it a dozen (or a million) more times until your book is on the shelf at the bookstore . . .
With excitement you’ll read through it again, and behold, you wish you still had an again as an option!

So, here’s to an AGAIN day! In the AGAIN’s is the story really written. So enjoy it, AGAIN!

Progress Report

Today is the 15th of November. I have officially reached the HALFWAY POINT for NaNo, and I’m STILL ALIVE! 🙂 Thankfully the ideas are still coming strong–almost too strong on some days. My goals have been to write at least 1,667 words a day, and to NOT edit. Some days I have written a lot more than 1,667. Some days I wrote a lot less. But I have NOT edited, even though my fingers are twitching. Having “writer with an editor brain” syndrome is hard to combat, but so far I’m resisting the urge.

My progress report:

Day 1: I wrote 3,228 words

Day 2: Today was National Book Lovers Day, so of course I HAD to read…read more than 50,000 words…sure wish that counted for my writing total! I also spent the morning “bouncing” with a writer friend.  (3,693 words written)

Day 3:  Only wrote 891 words today, but I finished my “first week” of NaNo with 7,812 words. My handy-dandy calendar said I should be at least to 5001 words…felt overall accomplishment!

Day 4: Monday . . . 2,629 Words

Day 5: 2,868 Words

Day 6: Got distracted by Howl’s Moving Castle, watching the movie, and picking up the book again . . . Only wrote 440 words, but did get some “research done”. Also, Wednesday is my “bouncing day.”  Skyped with my bouncing buddy and then went to the diner until 11 PM to hang out with another awesome writing buddy (we mostly drank coffee, but she did help me with ideas!)

Day 7: 2,348 words (also, had an interesting chat with a man in uniform…FODDER!)

Day 8: My boys didn’t have school today….And I decided to use Anna Kendrick as my model for my heroine, ENDICOTT. So, of course I had to “search” on pinterest…which led me to deciding to learn the Cup Song…which sent me to YOUTUBE….which made me want to learn the words that Anna Kendrick sings with it on the movie Pitch Perfect…Yeah, I get distracted easily. But I accomplished the cup song, movements AND words! I only got 658 words written . . .

Day 9: Today I went to one of my favorite places (Lamoka Lake Baptist Camp). I helped run the wood splitter, and chuck and stack wood. Great exercise! Came home and wrote 1,791 words. 

Day 10:  Sunday, day of rest… but did manage to write 2,561 words.

My first full week DONE! Wrote a total of 13,292 words for the week, giving me a grand total of 21,114 (my calendar said to be at 16,670)

Day 11: Veteran’s Day (a HUGE THANK YOU to all those who served and are serving. So blessed!)…decided to give up coffee…don’t ask…only wrote 218 words…

Day 12: NO SCHOOL: SNOW DAY!!! WHAT??? Back on coffee…sent out the signal… wrote 3,664 words (think I’ll keep drinking it). Painted my nails with silver glitter nail polish and wrote 50,000 WORDS in blue nail polish. 🙂 Now every time I look down, I see 50,000 words!

Day 13: 948 words…hit 25K…halfway there for word count! Woot! Woot!

Day 14: 879 words

Day 15: STILL WRITING (hmmmm, do these wonderful words on my blog count??) I’m trying to get as many words written this morning as possible because my brain will not be working tomorrow. Tonight at 6PM until 6AM tomorrow, I will be with over 1,000 teenagers and adults…teen all-nighter…a night of watching a hockey game, playing volleyball & soccer, pizza, bowling, and inflatables!!)….lots of FODDER just waiting for my pen to hear it! 

My Discoveries:

**I can’t write in order, going from “Once Upon a Time” to “The End” is not really my style. It just frustrates me to no end. My mind jumps all over the place. I get an idea for a scene, and I have to write it down before my brain will let me move on. But having Scrivener has been a life saver, catering to my mind-hopping tendencies. I’m able to have folders that help me stay organized and out of order!

**I’m also discovering that this “quantity over quality” writing is hard for my editor brain. I know I’m writing a lot of silliness among the jewels. (at one point I have my heroine and hero discussing her black and white stripped stockings…although, I think I’ll keep the scene because it made me ROFL!) I want to fix the silliness, bad grammar, and the randomness of it all, but I’m determined to stay focused on 50K! It’s comforting to know that at the end of the month, I will have my freedom to edit to my heart’s content…probably deleting more then half…YEAH! 😉


This is where I’m at. Type ya again at the end of November!

For those of you brave writer’s in this boat with me, good luck!

Just Keep Writing!

Just Keep Writing!

RUE! (resist the urge to edit)


It’s NaNoWriMo Time!

It’s NaNoWriMo time again! The wonderfully-crazy month of November . . . It’s the start of hunting season, days off of school for conferences, Thanksgiving break, black Friday, Christmas shopping begins, EATING . . . Guess it wasn’t crazy enough, so the Head Honcho Writers Club decided to make it crazier by saying:

“Hey, let’s write 50,000 words in a month.”

“Which month should we pick?”

“How about November? There’s not much going on in that month.”

“Oh, yes!  This will give them something extra to be thankful for!  A whole month of WRITING!”

“And, they won’t have to worry about dieting and exercising because it’s the holiday months, and everyone gains 5 pounds anyway, so at least they’ll be sitting around writing . . . very productive.”

“This is such a great idea!”

“Easy-peasy! All they have to do is write at least 1700 words a day!”

Yeah . . . in between making pilgrim and Indian costumes . . . in between baking cookies . . . in between coffee breaks . . . in between grocery shopping . . . In between loads of laundry and dusting . . . In between remembering they have children . . .

As crazy as this is, I am doing it again this year. Having a deadline is very motivating. So, yes, I am thankful to the Head Honcho Writers Club who said “Let’s write 50,000 words in the month of November!”

My Goal for NaNoWriMo (well, besides the obvious one of reaching the 50,000 word mark) is to NOT EDIT! I am a writer with an editor brain. I can’t stand when I write a scene and I know it’s awful . . . I want to make it close to perfect before I move on. But this is not possible during NaNo . . . so, I’m subduing the inner editor with coffee, and chugging along! Wish me luck!




**Okay, enough playing here . . . Back to WRITING!

Acronyms: Part 2

Today I’d like to share some of the editing acronyms that have been used on me or by me. I love to edit as much as I love to write and drink coffee. “I was born with a red pen in my hands.” Growing up, my idea of a great time was to print off my stories so I could make them better with my magic red pen…yeah, I was kinda a weird, loner child…(and, not much has changed in that area) But starting the editing early has been great for my writing life…editors have nothing on MY red pen!

Again, all you editors (and writers) out there…if I’ve missed any, please comment below. THANKS.

ED = Editor! 🙂

RUE = Resist the Urge to Explain

FBP = Floating Body Part (example: “My eyes landed on her.”…that would require them to pop out of your head, fly across the room, and land on her…)

RO = Run-on sentence

STET = Let it Stand

WW = Wrong Word

ROFL = Rolling on Floor Laughing

OTT = Over the Top

SNI = Shiny New Idea

OMNI = Omniscient

IM = Internal Monologue

BS = Backstory

CRIT = Critique

GMC = Goals, Motivation, Conflict (yeah, these are important to have in fiction)

IMHO = In My Humble Opinion

AWK = Awkward sentence

SP = Spelling…check it…and like Messy Mondays says: “Some people think that the red squiggly line underneath the words is the computers way of saying ‘Oh yes, keep it up!'”

CMS = Chicago Manual of Style (this is a HUGE book with all the editing rules…)

TBR = To Be Read (Pile of books)…this can also mean, To Be released

ISBN = International Standard Book Number. (You get one of these when you’re book gets published)

TMI/TNCA = Too Much Information / That Nobody Cares About

TLD = Time Line Discrepancy (this one was created by my editor Vie)

DW? = Do What?? (Also created by my editor)

**And of course, my very own self editing acronyms:

TWS = That Was Stupid

TMNSW = That Made No Sense Whatsoever!

NCTS = Need Coffee in This Scene

GW = Great Writing

ARGH = All right, gonna holler!

RME = Rolled My Eyes (yes, I committed a FBP there…)

**Forgot these last week: LI = Love Interest  &  AFK = Away From Keyboard